No Peace in Mideast Without End to Israeli Occupation: Abbas (VIDEO REPORT)
Palestinians rally against Israel-Gulf deals
The agreements between the UAE-Bahrain and Israel were signed at the White House on Tuesday in a festive atmosphere. But in the Palestinian territories, and in the West Bank city of Ramallah specifically, the scene is a direct contrast – the atmosphere is one of anger and betrayed hopes.
Feeling increasingly abandoned, Palestinian leaders urged demonstrations in the territories and outside the embassies of the United States, Israel, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, to protest what they called “shameful agreements.”
They called for protests to coincide with the signing ceremony in the US capital, urging other Arab states to refrain from “taking part in the celebrations.” Palestinians rallied against the deal throughout the territories.
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called the signing of the normalization accords yet another “black day” for the Arab world.
The PA, based in the West Bank, and the Islamist movement Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, have condemned the US-brokered accords as a “stab in the back” of their people. They were signed without any progress having been made on an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement.
This will be another date to add to the calendar of Palestinian misery
Shtayyeh, speaking Monday at the weekly meeting of his cabinet, said, “Tomorrow, we will witness a black day in the history of the Arab world, of defeat for Arab League institutions, which are not united but divided.
“This will be another date to add to the calendar of Palestinian misery,” he said, adding that the PA would have to “correct” its relationship with the Arab League for its refusal to condemn the two normalization accords.
We are united, all factions in one trench. This new alliance [the US-Israel-UAE-Bahrain] aims to thwart our Palestinian project, but we tell them that all their plans will fail because of the unity and steadfastness of the Palestinian people
And in a show of unity, Hassan Yousef, a Hamas leader in the West Bank, attended the Ramallah protest. He told The Media Line that bridging the gap between the top Palestinian factions was a must.
“We are united, all factions in one trench. This new alliance [the US-Israel-UAE-Bahrain] aims to thwart our Palestinian project, but we tell them that all their plans will fail because of the unity and steadfastness of the Palestinian people,” Yousef said.
President Donald Trump expressed confidence that the Palestinians would eventually sign on to the US-brokered peace agreements.
“The Palestinians will absolutely be a member. I don’t say that with any bravado, I just tell you the Palestinians will be a member at the right time,” he said.
Azzam al-Ahmad, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee, responded to Trump’s statement by telling The Media Line the US was not an honest broker and that the resumption of negotiations with Israel would not take place “under his auspices.”
On August 13, Trump, in a surprise announcement, said that Israel and the UAE had reached a “historic agreement” to normalize ties. Under the deal, Israel would “suspend” the annexation of parts of the West Bank, although without saying for how long.
On September 11, in another surprise announcement, Trump said that Bahrain and Israel would also normalize relations.