Aug 13, 2020 - World

Palestinian president fumes after Israel-UAE normalization deal

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Photo: Anadolu Agency / Contributor

Palestinian leaders attacked Thursday's U.S.-brokered normalization deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

What they're saying: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement after an emergency meeting on Thursday with officials that the UAE betrayed the Palestinian people.

Why it matters: The Palestinians are angry because for decades they managed to get the Arab world to condition normalization with Israel upon ending the occupation and establishing an independent Palestinian state. The Palestinians are now concerned that more countries will follow the UAE and they will lose their diplomatic leverage over Israel.

The state of play: As part of the deal, Israel agreed to take its West Bank annexation plans off the table.

  • Even though Palestinians wanted to stop annexation, they didn't think the Arab world should pay Israel for something it shouldn't do in the first place.

Relations between the UAE and Palestinian officials have been in a state of crisis for several years.

  • The UAE is hosting Abbas's main political rival — former Palestinian minister Mohammed Dahlan, who is now a senior aide to UAE Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed — in Abu Dhabi.

What's happening: The Palestinian foreign minister announced he is recalling the Palestinian ambassador from Abu Dhabi in protest of the normalization deal with Israel.

  • Many Palestinian officials have attacked the deal. PLO officials Saeb Erekat and Jibril Rajoub issued a statement calling the arrangement "a knife stab in the chest."

What to watch: Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called Abbas on Thursday to coordinate a response to the deal.

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