For several years, backchannel ties between Israel and some Gulf Arab states have been developing in the shadows. While Israel is not shy about the relationship, the Gulf states have hoped to keep their rapprochement with Israel under wraps for obvious reasons pertaining to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Yet increasing diplomatic exposure has brought the relationship out into the open and signaled possible momentum toward the establishment of formal relations for the first time.
But what does that even mean? What’s in it for the countries that sign on? And what about the Palestinians?