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Abbas on a 2016 visit to Sudan. Photo: Ashraf Shazley/AFP via Getty Images

The Palestinian Authority today condemned Sudan's decision to begin normalizing ties with Israel as “another stab in the back."

Why it matters: This is another blow to the Palestinian leadership — the third such announcement from an Arab country in two months despite Palestinian objections.

What they're saying:

  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s office issued a statement rejecting the Israel-Sudan deal and stressing that it contradicts the positions of the Arab League and the Arab Peace Initiative.
  • “No one has the right to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people and cause. The path to a comprehensive and just peace must lead to an end to the Israeli occupation of the land of the State of Palestine," his statement said. 

The big picture: After the announcements by the UAE and Bahrain on diplomatic normalization with Israel, the Palestinians issued condemnations and pulled their ambassadors from Abu Dhabi and Manama. But those steps didn’t deter Sudan.

Go deeper

Jan 28, 2021 - World

Israel's chief epidemiologist creates diplomatic incident with UAE

Israeli travelers arrive in Dubai. Photo: Karim Sahib/AFP via Getty Images

A remark by Israel’s chief epidemiologist suggesting the opening of direct flights from Dubai to Tel Aviv had led to COVID-19 deaths in Israel resulted in diplomatic protests from the UAE, Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: Direct flights were one of the main fruits of the Israel-UAE peace treaty, and around 130,000 Israeli tourists have taken advantage by flying to Dubai since December.

Ro Khanna accuses Biden of quitting Middle East

Rep. Ro Khanna. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile for Web Summit via Getty Images

An outspoken progressive Democrat is wary of President Biden’s approach to the Middle East, arguing it’s like “conceding defeat of the aspiration” to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

Why it matters: A number of members of Biden’s own party dislike his Middle East strategy, as his administration signals the region is no longer the priority it was for President Obama and his predecessors.

Democrats eye reconciliation for immigration

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Comprehensive immigration reform is a pipe dream, but some Senate Democrats are hoping to tie key immigration provisions to the next big reconciliation push.

Why it matters: Immigration is one of the most controversial and partisan issues in U.S. politics, which is why the budget reconciliation process — which allows for bills to pass the Senate with a simple majority rather than the usual 60 votes — is so attractive.

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