PA sending its ambassadors back to Bahrain, UAE

The turnaround may be part of the PA’s strategy to re-engage with the United States after President Trump’s seeming defeat in the American elections.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Without officially acknowledging the move, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is returning its ambassadors to the UAE and Bahrain, a Palestinian source told Reuters Wednesday.

The envoys were originally recalled after PA President Mahmoud Abbas said that the two countries had “betrayed” the Palestinian cause by announcing normalization with Israel in August and September, respectively.

The PA denounced Abu Dhabi and Manama in the strongest terms, saying the Palestinian people were “stabbed in the back” by their fellow Arabs, and called for mass demonstrations in the two Gulf countries against their governments. There was little response, with only a few protests in Bahrain and none in the UAE.

The angry reactions of the Gulf countries’ leaders when pictures of them were burned in demonstrations in PA-administered towns and villages apparently convinced the PA to tone down its rhetoric.

Political pressure to get the Arab League to condemn normalization went nowhere, as Saudi Arabia made it clear that it supported its allies’ decisions.

The turnaround may be part of the PA’s strategy to re-engage with the United States after President Trump’s seeming defeat in the American elections.

On Tuesday, the PA announced that it would restore security coordination with Israel six months after ending the cooperation due to Israel’s stated plans to apply sovereignty over 30% of Judea and Samaria, as envisioned in the Trump peace plan.

PA Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh said the security ties with Israel were renewed after the PA requested and received a letter saying that Jerusalem was “committed to the agreements signed with the Palestinian leadership.” He also acknowledged gestures to the Palestinians mentioned by Joe Biden during the election campaign, including the reopening of the PLO mission in Washington and the American consulate in eastern Jerusalem as well as restoring aid to UNRWA.

The UAE and Bahrain have said from the beginning that their decision to normalize ties was made on condition that Israel not apply Israeli law to areas of Judea and Samaria. Both President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu have indicated that this was indeed the trade-off, although the word used to describe dropping the sovereignty idea was “postponement” and not “cancellation.”

The Abraham Accords that Israel signed with the UAE and Bahrain on September 16 also formally committed the sides to work together “to realize a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that meets the legitimate needs and aspirations of both people.”