The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warned that the Abraham Accords could lead to increased violence and fuel further conflict in the region shortly after the deal was implemented in 2020, according to an official document obtained by The Intercept on Wednesday.
“FTO (Foreign Terror Organizations) supporters’ pre-existing grievances about US foreign policy regarding the Middle East, such as viewing the United States as responsible for Israeli actions, will be exacerbated by Israel’s normalization of relations with Bahrain and the UAE,” the October 2019 report reads.
According to DHS officials, newly-normalized ties with prior foes was not the primary risk of the accords – rather, the establishment of ties with several countries without addressing the Palestinian issue has created a sense of resentment and betrayal, the intelligence assessment warns.
“FTO supporters have conducted attacks… years after incidents they might cite as drivers to action,” explained the report, citing the December 2019 shooting at a Naval Base in Florida that the attacker alleged was due to the May 2018 movement of the US Embassy to Jerusalem.
“We similarly judge that FTOs could leverage these anti-US grievances to fit their longstanding messaging themes, portraying the United States as a principal antagonist in the Middle East and calling for retaliatory violence on social media and in official media products,” the report continued, citing how Iran’s Ayatollah has compared racial tensions inside the US as evidence that the US supports alleged Israeli mistreatment of Palestinians.
Nearly two years after the implementation of the Abraham Accords, relations between Israel and nations that have normalized ties with Israel have continued to flourish – leading to improved ties with Egypt and Jordan, as well as a potential opportunity to reach a much-anticipated normalization deal with Saudi Arabia.
There has, however, been an increase in tensions between Israel and residents of Palestinian areas, such as last year’s clashes between Israel and Hamas, a rise in terror attacks within Israel, and increased tensions between Israel and a rapidly-nuclearizing Iran.
Former foreign minister and deputy prime minister of Jordan Marwan Muasher claimed last Friday that the Abraham Accords are “a recipe for violence, not peace” in an op-ed published in Foreign Affairs, adding that Israel’s aim in signing the Abraham Accords “was to redirect world attention away from its military occupation, not to end it.”
The release of the intel report comes amid US President Joe Biden’s much-awaited July trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia, one that aims to tackle several of the Middle East’s most prominent issues and address long-standing conflicts.