Abbas terms agreement a betrayal

14 Aug 2020

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RAMALLAH: The Palestinian Authority on Thursday voiced its “strong rejection and condemnation” of the Israeli-Emirati deal and called for an emergency meeting of the Arab League.

In a statement, Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas called the deal an “aggression” against the Palestinian people and a “betrayal” of their cause, including their claim to Jerusalem as a capital of their future state.

In Tehran an Iranin official said the agreement would not secure peace in the region.

“UAE’s new approach for normalizing ties w/fake, criminal #Israel doesn’t maintain peace & security, but serves ongoing Zionist crimes,” tweeted Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, an adviser to the speaker on foreign affairs and a former deputy foreign minister.

“Abu Dhabi’s behaviour has no justification, turning back on the Palestine cause. W/ that strategic mistake, #UAE will be engulfed in Zionism fire.”

The son-in-law also speaks

White House adviser Jared Kushner predicted a “very good chance” of Israel and another Arab country announcing a peace deal within the next three months.

“I do think there’s a very good chance,” Kushner, who is President Donald Trump’s point man on the Middle East and also his son-in-law, told reporters when asked if another such breakthrough could come in the next 90 days — roughly the period ahead of US elections.

He described the Israeli-UAE deal as “an icebreaker between these two countries” and said that what “we’ll hopefully see from there is more countries start to do the same.”

Kushner dismissed reports of a chilly reception by Palestinians, calling it “a fairly predictable response that we’ve seen time and time again.”

Trump’s national security adviser Robert O’Brien likewise predicted further thaws between Israel and Arab countries.

“We believe there are other countries waiting in the wings,” he said.

O’Brien also poured lavish praise on his boss, saying Trump should get the Nobel Peace Prize.

“It will take some time in this environment, but it wouldn’t surprise me that the president is eventually nominated for a Nobel prize,” he said.

Trump “should be a frontrunner for the Nobel Peace Prize.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and either Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan or another UAE prince are being invited to a “formal signing ceremony at the White House”, O’Brien said.

Joe Biden

Democratic White House candidate Joe Biden welcomed the US-brokered deal as a “historic step” that will help ease tensions in the region.

“Today, Israel and the United Arab Emirates have taken a historic step to bridge the deep divides of the Middle East,” the former vice president and foreign policy stalwart said in a statement about the deal which was announced by his election rival, President Donald Trump.

“The UAE’s offer to publicly recognise the state of Israel is a welcome, brave, and badly-needed act of statesmanship” that will help ensure Israel remains an “integral” part of the Middle East, he said.

“Annexation would be a body blow to the cause of peace, which is why I oppose it now and would oppose it as president,” Biden said.

“It would virtually end any chance of a two-state solution.” Biden’s statement made no mention of Trump, saying instead that the deal was built on efforts by “multiple administrations,” including the Obama-Biden administration that preceded Trump’s, to foster a broader Arab-Israeli opening.

Several US lawmakers hailed the agreement, with many Republicans praising Trump and his team for helping bring about a result.

House Democrat Brad Sherman said “Israel’s willingness to step away from annexation in favor of expanding ties with its neighbors demonstrates a real commitment to stability, peace & a viable Palestinian state”.

Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2020