Palestinians unanimously reject agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel to normalise ties.
The deal pledges full normalisation of relationships between the two countries in the areas of security, tourism, technology and trade in return for suspending Israel’s annexation plans in the West Bank.
Both the Palestinian leadership and public were caught by surprise when the announcement came on Thursday.
“We absolutely had no prior knowledge of this agreement,” Ahmed Majdalani, the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) minister of social affairs said.
“The timing and speed of reaching this agreement were surprising, especially that it came at a critical moment in the Palestinian struggle.”
Former PA minister Munib al-Masri noted Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who ruled Abu Dhabi for more than 30 years before his death in 2004, had always been a strong supporter of the Palestinians.
“The late Sheikh Zayed was a dear brother to me, I knew how much he was proud of his support for Palestine… I never imagined that in my lifetime I would see the day in which the UAE would simply sell the Palestinians out for the sake of normalisation,” al-Masri said.
“It’s very shameful. I can’t believe it until now.”
Most factions, including Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, issued official statements denouncing the UAE-Israel agreement.