The announcement came as Palestinians held several protests against the deal during which they chanted slogans denouncing UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed as a “traitor” and burning and trampling his pictures and UAE flags.
The Palestinian Authority said it has requested an emergency meeting of the Arab League to discuss the repercussions of the UAE-Israel deal.
PA officials said they requested the meeting because the UAE move was in violation of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which says the Arab countries would “establish normal relations with Israel only after a full Israeli withdrawal from all the territories occupied since 1967 and the acceptance of the establishment of a sovereign independent Palestinians state on the Palestinian territories occupied since the 4th of June 1967 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with east Jerusalem as its capital.”
The officials said that the PA was also planning to approach several countries and the United Nations to explain the “dangers” of the UAE-Israel deal.
“The Palestinians have nothing to gain from this deal,” said a senior Palestinian official in Ramallah. “the biggest winners are [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and [US President Donald] Trump.”
Shortly after the deal was announced last Thursday, the PA said that the UAE was not entitled to speak on behalf of the Palestinians. The PA denounced the joint US-Israel-UAE announcement as a “despicable tripartite aggression,” reference to the 1956 Suez Crisis, when Israel, followed by Britain and France, invaded Egypt to regain Western control of the Suez Canal and to remove Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser after his decision to nationalize the canal.
The PA also denounced the agreement as a “betrayal of Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem.”
Deputy chairman of the Palestinian ruling Fatah faction, Mahmoud Aloul, condemned the “sinister” deal and accused the UAE of “meddling in the internal affairs of the Palestinians over the past few years.”
Noting that the Palestinians were disappointed with the UAE move, Aloul said that the Gulf state was not the first Arab country to “abandon” the Palestinian people.”
PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said that the deal “destroyed the Arab Peace Initiative and the rights of the Palestinians.” The Palestinians, he said, “won’t allow any party to speak on their behalf.” Erekat called on the Arab countries to pressure the Emiratis to backtrack on their decision to normalize their relations with Israel.
“Peace starts by ending the occupation, and not by normalization and an exchange of embassies,” Erekat added. “We have requested an urgent meeting of the Arab foreign ministers to discuss the Israeli-Emirati deal. How does the UAE benefit from this agreement? The UAE cut its ties with us in 2014 and we were surprised by this deal.”
Azzam al-Ahmed, a senior PLO and Fatah official, said that the UAE-Israel deal, which has been welcomed by some Arabs, “weakens the Palestinian position. Ahmed claimed that the deal also violates the history and constitution of the UAE. “The agreement is a stab in the back of the Palestinians and a betrayal of Palestine and Jerusalem,” he added.
The Palestine National Council, the legislative body of the PLO, said that the Palestinian issue “is not subject to the principle of bargains, deals and false allegations.” The tripartite announcement is a “blatant aggression on the rights of the Arabs and Muslims in Palestine, as well as the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque,” the council said in a statement. “Whoever wants to support our people does not sign agreements with their enemy, stab them in the back and weaken their position. The Council calls on Arab parliaments to condemn and reject this agreement and demand that the UAE immediately renounce it.”
PA President Mahmoud Abbas received on Thursday night a phone call from Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, who voiced support for the PA leadership’s rejection of the UAE-Israel deal, the Palestinian news agency Wafa reported. Haniyeh told Abbas that Hamas was ready to join forces with the PA in rejecting the deal, the agency said.
On Friday, Palestinians attending prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque chanted slogans condemning the UAE crown prince as a traitor.
Similar protests were held in a number of Palestinian cities in the West Bank, where demonstrators burned and trampled photos of Netanyahu, Trump and bin Zayed, as well as UAE flags.
Representatives of various Palestinian factions who held a rally in Nablus on Saturday called on the Emirati people to “assume their historical, national and Islamic responsibilities by taking a decisive stance to stop their leadership’s steady march towards the swamp of treason and collaboration [with Israel].” The factions warned that “all traitors will end up in the dustbin of history.”
In the Gaza Strip, Hamas and several Palestinian factions organized anti-UAE protests during which demonstrators accused the Gulf state of betraying the Palestinians and stabbing them in the back.
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