UAE deals Palestinians a stab-in-the-back

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August 23, 2020

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Aug. 13, 2020 will be remembered by Palestinians as another Naksa, or “setback.” This is the term used by Arabs to refer to Israel’s stunning military victory in 1967, in which it took control of the Palestinian-inhabited West Bank and Gaza Strip, along with Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and Syria’s Golan Heights. Much like the Arab defeat of 1967, the agreement signed yesterday by Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), in which the two countries agreed to a “full normalization of relations” in return for Israel suspending moves to formally annex parts of the West Bank, has reminded the Palestinians that they cannot count on the Arab states to deliver their freedom or safeguard their rights.

The UAE is not the first Arab state to use the Palestinians as a fig leaf for its dealings with Israel, and in reality the de facto annexation of West Bank territory has been happening for many decades and could have been avoided easily with a decision in Washington or Jerusalem.

The agreement put a halt on Israel’s plans to annex parts of the Israeli occupied West Bank, but instead of increasing stability and peace in the region, Palestinian officials say the deal has further undermined them. “I never expected this poison dagger to come from an Arab country,” veteran negotiator, Saeb Erekat said. “You are rewarding aggression…You have destroyed, with this move, any possibility of peace between Palestinians and Israelis,” he added, speaking to the UAE.

Friedman thinks that the Israel-UAE consular agreement is a “geopolitical earthquake that just hit the Mideast” whose effects should be felt throughout the region.

Ranjan Solomon

18 August 2020