Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has slammed the normalisation agreement concluded between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, describing it as a "step backward".
In remarks to This Week in Asia newspaper, Mohamad said: "The agreement will divide the Islamic world into warring factions where the Israelis would be able to pour fuel on fire in this conflict."
"The agreement will increase the warring parties' ability to fight each other, and there will be no peace even between Islamic countries," he said, explaining that the deal would strengthen the Israeli claim that Palestine is a property of Israel.
Mohamad emphasised that the Palestinians and those sympathetic to the Palestinians will react to the deal which means prolonging the war in the Middle East.
On 13 August, US President Donald Trump announced a peace deal between the UAE and Israel brokered by Washington.
Abu Dhabi said the deal was an effort to stave off Tel Aviv's planned annexation of the occupied West Bank, however, opponents believe normalisation efforts have been in the offing for many years as Israeli officials have made official visits to the UAE and attended conferences in the country which had no diplomatic or other ties with the occupation state.
Netanyahu repeated on 17 August that annexation is not off the table, but has simply been delayed.