A landmark peace deal has been signed between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The historic agreement, which was brokered by the Trump administration, sees the two Arab nations recognise Israel as a sovereign country, becoming just the third and fourth Gulf states to do so. Prior to the agreement, Egypt and Jordan — who signed peace treaties in 1978 and 1994 — were the only countries in the region willing to acknowledge Israel's sovereignty. The normalising of diplomatic relations between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain is also likely to open up a number of new trade opportunities. At the signing ceremony held at the White House on Tuesday, Trump said the deal marked "the dawn of a new Middle East" following "decades of division and conflict". "We're here this afternoon to change the course of history," the president announced. "Together these agreements will serve as the foundation for a comprehensive peace across the entire region, something which nobody thought was possible, certainly not in this day and age. These agreements prove that the nations of the region are breaking free from failed approaches of the past. Today's signing sets history on a new course and there will be other countries very very soon that will follow these great leaders." Tweeting out a scriptural reference to mark the occasion, Vice President Mike Pence declared, "Blessed Are The Peacemakers".

 

Almost 110,000 abortions were carried out on residents of England and Wales between January and June this year, the Government has revealed. Figures released by the Department for Health and Social Care indicated there had been an increase of more than 4,000 on the same period last year. In the whole of 2019, 207,384 abortions were carried out on residents, but pro-life campaigners say 2020 looks “set to eclipse 2019’s total”. The number of abortions rose sharply in April, 4,500 more than the previous year, after the Government introduced ‘DIY’ home abortions at the end of March. Under the rules, women can take both pills required for an abortion at home up to ten weeks, following a conversation with a doctor. There has been a subsequent uptake in medical abortions, rising from 72 per cent of all abortions between January and June 2019 to 82 per cent over the same period this year.

 

Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired 13 rockets into southern Israel before dawn on Wednesday, eight of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome system, the Israel Defense Forces said. The attack apparently came in response to Israel signing peace deals with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The projectiles were fired over the course of half an hour, prompting the second of two waves of overnight strikes by the Israeli Air Force on Hamas targets across Gaza. The predawn attacks from the Strip triggered sirens at least five times over a half-hour period — from roughly 4:30 a.m. to 5 a.m. — in the town of Sderot and communities in the Eshkol and Sha’ar Hanegev regions early Wednesday. The IDF said several volleys were fired, totaling 13 rockets. Soldiers operating the Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted eight of the incoming projectiles, the military said.