Sep 9, 2020 - World

Palestinians fail to get Arab League to condemn Israel-UAE deal

Photo: Karim Sahib/AFP via Getty Images

The Palestinian Authority failed on Wednesday to get the Arab League's foreign ministers to endorse a resolution criticizing the U.S.-brokered normalization deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Why it matters: This is a very unusual development and a big blow to the Palestinians, who hold the rotating presidency of the Arab League. For decades, Arab League foreign ministers have endorsed every draft resolution the Palestinians have put forward.

  • After the Trump administration's Middle East peace plan was released in January, the Palestinians managed to get the Arab League to condemn the plan — but, this time, many Arab countries refused to condemn the UAE.
  • The Arab League’s Assistant Secretary-General Hossam Zaki said during a press conference after the meeting that the foreign ministers discussed the Palestinian text and entered several amendments, but they couldn’t reach a consensus and decided not to put out any statement on the Israel-UAE agreement.

What they're saying: Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki condemned the Israel-UAE agreement in his speech and called upon Arab countries to announce that there will be no normalization with Israel before the establishment of a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem.

  • Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash defended his country’s decision in his speech. He said the normalization agreement was not done at the expense of the Palestinians, adding that the deal managed to stop Israel’s annexation plans in the West Bank.
  • Other foreign ministers — mainly the Saudi foreign minister — pledged their support for the Palestinians and their aspirations, but stopped short of criticizing the UAE.

What’s next: The White House plans to invite foreign ministers and ambassadors from many Arab countries to attend the deal's signing ceremony next week in order to show the deal has Arab support.

  • It is still unclear how many Arab countries will send representatives.
Go deeper