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The Palestinian response to the normalisation agreement

Palestinians in the West Bank protesting against the UAE’s deal with Israel to normalise relations Palestinians in the West Bank protesting against the UAE’s deal with Israel to normalise relations Reuters/Raneen Sawafta

16 September 2020

The retaliatory acts and protests by Palestinians against the agreement between Israel, UAE and Bahrain are growing

On 15 September the agreement for the normalisation of relations between the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Israel was signed in Washington. The agreement was described by the Palestinians as "a stab in the back" and Hamas launched 15 missiles from Gaza into Israeli territory, injuring two people. Tel Aviv responded with ten aerial strikes across the strip.

The Arab signatory countries claim that the agreement has allowed the withdrawal of the West Bank annexation project, scheduled for July this year, in exchange for normalisation. On the other hand, the Palestinian Authority (PA) argues that the agreement indirectly supports the status quo between Israel and Palestine, settling the occupation of the West Bank, making it impossible to return to the pre-Six Day War borders and normalising the segregation of Palestinians in the region. The Gulf countries' argument is also distrusted considering the exclusion of Palestinians from the negotiations, the absence of references to their security in the agreement - a key logic of the historical treaties with Egypt and Jordan - and for the strong economic and geopolitical reasons - mainly linked to the growing influence of Iran and Turkey in the region - behind this new arrangement. 

The agreement and the subsequent airstrikes have led to the renouncement of the presidency of the Arab League by the PA and to a rare united front among the different Palestinian factions to organize demonstrations throughout Gaza, in Jerusalem and in several cities of the West Bank. Flags and images of the leaders of the three signatory countries and the United States were burned as a sign of protest against the Arab betrayal and the Zionist state, traditionally rejected.


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Author: Matteo Consiglio; Margherita Curti


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