Palestinians call for protests against Arab-Israeli deals

Updated 14 Sep 2020

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Officials from both Gulf states are due to attend a ceremony at the White House on Tuesday to formalise ties with Israel, prompting Palestinian factions to unite in appeals for protest. — Reuters/File
Officials from both Gulf states are due to attend a ceremony at the White House on Tuesday to formalise ties with Israel, prompting Palestinian factions to unite in appeals for protest. — Reuters/File

JERUSALEM: Palestinian leaders on Sunday called for demonstrations against the “shameful” deals the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are set to sign with Israel.

Officials from both Gulf states are due to attend a ceremony at the White House on Tuesday to formalise ties with Israel, prompting Palestinian factions to unite in appeals for protest.

“We invite our population, in particular those in (Palestinian) refugee camps, to denounce these shameful agreements,” a statement read, signed by groups including the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and Gaza’s rulers Hamas.

The statement also called for rallies outside embassies of the US, Israel, Bahrain and the UAE.

The Palestinians last month accused Abu Dhabi of a “stab in the back”, as the Gulf country became only the third Arab nation after Egypt and Jordan to announce it would have formal relations with Israel.

Bahrain followed suit on Friday, breaking with the long-held stance of Arab leaders that an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal is a prerequisite for normalising relations.

But in recent years, Israel and the US have been courting Gulf states over their shared animosity towards Iran.

The deals with Israel were dubbed “peace for protection” by Saeb Erekat, PLO secretary-general.

“Some decision-makers now in the Arab world do believe that Arab national security metrics will depend on the protection of Israel,” he told journalists on Sunday.

Erekat referred to Washington’s longstanding policy of ensuring Israel is militarily stronger than other countries in the Middle East.

Arab nations are not permitted “to have any superiority on Israel on any field,” noted Erekat.

However, the policy has come under the spotlight in recent weeks, over reports that the US could sell F-35 stealth fighter jets to Abu Dhabi as part of the deal with Israel.

Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2020