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Rival Palestinians Unite against UAE-Israel Deal
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (center, front row) is shown on Thursday at the Palestinian embassy in Beirut listening to a speech delivered by PA President Mahmoud Abbas (onscreen) in Ramallah. (Anwar Amro/AFP via Getty Images)

Rival Palestinians Unite against UAE-Israel Deal

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas presided over a video-conference anchored in Beirut and the West Bank city of Ramallah late Thursday, presenting a rare show of unity against the normalization deal the United Arab Emirates signed with Israel and the United States on August 13. “Our meeting comes at a very dangerous stage in which our national cause faces various plots and dangers,” Abbas told participants, who included Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and Islamic Jihad secretary-general Ziyad al-Nakhalah, who were in Beirut. “In order to stand together in the trench of confrontation and peaceful popular resistance to the occupation, I invite you here to agree on the formation of a national leadership.” Various Palestinians factions are often divided over policy toward Israel, the deepest schism being that between Abbas’s mostly secular Fatah and the Islamist Hamas, which kicked the former out of the Gaza Strip in 2007 and has been ruling the coastal enclave ever since. Before Thursday’s video-conference, a Palestinian analyst told The Media Line he believed the meeting would yield little. “Other than slogans and speeches,” he said, “nothing will happen.”

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