Palestinians call for protests over ‘shameful’ Arab-Israeli agreements

By AFP – Reuters Source: AFP - Reuters Published: 2020/9/14 17:33:40

Screens display the flight number of the first-ever commercial flight from Israel to the UAE at the Ben Gurion Airport, Israel on Monday. The flight would carry a US-Israeli delegation to the UAE following a normalization accord, which makes the UAE only the third Arab country to forge ties with Israel in over 70 years. Photo: AFP

Palestinian leaders on Sunday called for demonstrations against the "shameful" deals the UAE 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 formalize 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 Organization (PLO) and Gaza's rulers Hamas.

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

The Palestinians in August 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 normalizing relations.

But in recent years, Israel and the US have been courting Gulf states over their shared animosity toward 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 said on Sunday.

Erekat referred to Washington's long-standing 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.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto will be the only EU diplomatic leader to attend the signing ceremony on Tuesday in Washington for the Israel-UAE peace deal, his spokesman said on Sunday.

AFP - Reuters


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