CAIRO, August 14. /TASS/. The Palestinian leadership on Thursday has blasted the United Arab Emirates’ move to normalize relations with Israel as betrayal.
Following an urgent meeting convened by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, his spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh described the deal between the UAE and Israel "on normalization of relations under the US sponsorship is a betrayal of [Islamic shrine] Al-Aqsa, Jerusalem and the Palestinian affair."
He also added, "Palestinians will remain united in the face of this unjust step <…> and warn [our Arab] brothers not to succumb to the American pressure and not follow the Emirati footsteps."
The Palestinian leadership rejected the UAE move, blasting it as a step towards "destruction of the Arab Peace Initiative." "We declare resolute rejection and condemnation of the trilateral statement that came as a surprise to us and demand that the UAE to immediately forsake this shameful agreement," spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh underlined.
The 2002 Arab Peace Initiative sets out full normalization of relations between Arab states and Israel on condition that Israel leaves all territories it occupied in 1967, including the Golan Heights and Shebaa farms as well as Israel’s recognition of the state of Palestine in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with the capital in East Jerusalem.
On Thursday, US President Donald Trump said via Twitter that Israel and the UAE reached an agreement on full normalization of the bilateral relations. The countries said the same in a joint statement. The agreements particularly envisage suspension of Israel’s decision on declaring sovereignty over Jewish settlements in West Bank, which is outlined in the US plan on Israeli-Palestinian settlement.
Per earlier reports, delegations of Israel and the UAE are planning to hold a meeting to sign a number of bilateral deals on investments, tourism, direct air travel, security, telecommunications, technology, energy, healthcare, culture, environment, mutual embassy establishment and other spheres.
Currently, out of all Arab states only Egypt and Jordan have diplomatic relations with Israel and embassies working. In the last few years, reports repeatedly emerged in the media that Israel and the UAE are holding contacts. Despite the formal lack of a peace treaty with Israel, the UAE has been actively developing commercial ties with the country in the last few years.