Condemnation was swift shortly after the disputed deal between Israel and the UAE was announced.
Reactions to the disputed deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, which is aimed at normalising relations between the two nations, from Palestinians abroad and the occupied Palestinian Territories has been scathing.
“May you never experience the agony of having your country stolen,” said Dr Hanan Ashrawi member of the PLO Executive Committee.
She was responding to the triumphant announcement made by the UAE’s de facto absolute monarch, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed (MBZ), that his country had reached an agreement to halt “further Israeli annexation of Palestinian territories.”
May you never experience the agony of having your country stolen; may you never feel the pain of living in captivity under occupation; may you never witness the demolition of your home or murder of your loved ones. May you never be sold out by your “friends.” https://t.co/CBaNl1QQqx
— Hanan Ashrawi (@DrHananAshrawi) August 13, 2020
In turn, the UAE will work on an accord to establish full diplomatic, economic and political ties.
Many have noted that such ties are not a breakthrough, “Israel & the UAE have been strong allies under the table for many years! This is merely making that friendship public” a political analyst noted.
Palestinians at the Al Aqsa mosque in occupied East Jerusalem reacted to the announcement by unfurling a photo of MBZ and stepping on it after Friday prayers – they see normalisation of ties as a betrayal of Palestinians.
Protestors also called MBZ “A traitor” and said, “you’re a backstabber”.
— DOAM (@doamuslims) August 14, 2020
Another user on social media noted that Israel and the UAE were marking their newfound friendship by bombing the blockaded Gaza strip.
A Palestinian human rights attorney in the US expressed her dismay at the deal, describing it as an “endorsement/surrender to a colonial future.”
Diana Buttu, a Palestinian-Canadian lawyer living in the occupied-Palestinian Territories, argued that Israel has been rewarded for illegally annexing Palestinian land for the last 53 years.
“Instead of facing economic sanctions, it gets rewarded with diplomatic relations,” she said.
“To be clear, UAE establishing ties with Israel will NOT stop annexation. It’s been going on for 53 years as Israel has stolen Palestinian land, built Israeli-only settlements and infrastructure on that land and denied Palestinians freedom. I can guarantee that will continue,” she added.
Nimer Sultany, a Palestinian author of ‘Law & Revolution: Legitimacy and Constitutionalism After the Arab Spring’, called the agreement between “2 states of human rights violators, war-mongering endeavours parties” as a “cheap publicity stunt.”
One Palestinian from Gaza said, “Though I’m a Palestinian living in #Palestine, I’ve never visited Jerusalem, never tasted Nablus’s Kunafa, never seen Al-Aqsa Mosque, nor the Church of Nativity, never seen a mountain, nor a lake.”
The disputed deal between Israel and the UAE will in any case materially shape the day-to-day lives of Palestinians living under occupation.
The deal has been called a “peace for peace” rather than an earlier formula in which Arab countries would promote peace with Israel in return for an end to the occupation.
Palestinian-American historian Rashid Khalidi said that after the disputed deal was announced, “the chance of a just, equitable and sustainable peace [in Palestine] (became) much, much, much harder.”