Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Israel, UAE agreement a “stab in the back” for Palestinian people

By The Palestine Monitor - August 20, 2020
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Trump]

Israel and the United Arab Emirates have struck a historic deal last week that will lead to full diplomatic normalisation between the two nations, as the UAE becomes the first country in the Gulf to open such ties with Israel.

The agreement came after the United States President Donald Trump brokered a phone call between the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The deal, kept secret from Arab neighbours came as a shock to most of the region. The agreement enables the UAE to develop commercial, diplomatic and security ties with Israel.

The UAE is only the third Arab state to normalise such ties with Israel, after Egypt and Jordan.

A joint statement released by the US, Israel and the UAE on 13 August declared the deal would "advance peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision" of the leaders of the three countries.

At a White House press conference Trump later told reporters it was "a truly historic moment".

According to the White House, stipulations within the deal have temporarily suspended Israeli plans to annex the Palestinian areas of the occupied West Bank. Netanyahu, however, has said the agreement has only delayed his vow for annexation and that plans for “declaring sovereignty” are still "on the table".

Earlier this year, Netanyahu had announced he would annex one-third of the already illegally occupied West Bank - including parts of the strategic Jordan Valley - in line with Trump’s controversial so-called 'Vision for Peace Plan’ for Israelis and Palestinians.

Despite the halt on annexation, Palestinians have slammed the decision, labelling the Gulf country as a 'traitor’ for normalising ties with Israel. Palestinians in Gaza and East Jerusalem protested against the deal, with demonstrators in Gaza waving Palestinian flags and holding signs reading: "Palestine is not for sale" and "Normalisation is treason".

Hamas, the group that governs the Gaza Strip, condemned the Emirati recognition of Israel as a "cowardly" and "desperate attempt to influence the struggle to defeat the occupation and the fulfilment of the national rights".

"This agreement does absolutely not serve the Palestinian cause, it rather serves the Zionist narrative,” Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said in a statement. “This agreement encourages the occupation [Israel] to continue its denial of the rights of our Palestinian people, and even to continue its crimes against our people.” 

In a Facebook post, Secretary-General of the Palestinian National Initiative Mustafa Barghouthi described the Emirati-Israeli normalisation as a “stab in the back” of the Palestinian people and the implementation of Trump’s 'Peace Plan’ is aimed at “liquidating the Palestinian cause”.

He described the agreement as coming at the expense of the Palestinian people and their national rights, “especially as it is accompanied by an Israeli insistence on implementing the annexation plan by postponing it and not cancelling it, as some parties claimed”, the statement said.

“The agreement represents a complete departure from the Arab initiative and a departure from the decisions of the Arab League and the principles of international law.”

“This step, which was taken to serve Trump's efforts, to avoid an almost certain fall in the upcoming elections, contradicts not only with the interests of the Palestinian people, but also with the interest of the Emirati people themselves and the interests of all Arab peoples, and represents a negation of Arab interests in the face of dangerous Israeli ambitions,” Barghouti continued.

Barghouthi warned against the danger of the United States, Israel and Arab parties starting to implement the deal of the century at the expense of Palestinian national rights, and called for “the acceleration of real unification of the Palestinian class in facing these risks”.

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