Palestinian FM fails to convince Arab states to condemn Israel-UAE deal

The Palestinians have repeatedly slammed the U.S.-brokered Israel-UAE deal, but the Arab League refused to support a resolution condemning the deal.

By Associated Press

The Palestinian foreign minister Wednesday unsuccessfully called on Arab states to dismiss a deal between the United Arab Emirates and Israel to normalize relations, describing the agreement scheduled to be finalized next week as “an earthquake.”

The UAE and Israel announced the deal to establish full diplomatic relations on Aug. 13. It reflected a changing Middle East in which shared concerns about archenemy Iran have largely overtaken traditional Arab support for the Palestinians.

Most of the Arab world has rejected diplomatic ties with Israel in the absence of a peace deal establishing a Palestinian state. That steadfast support for the Palestinians, however, has begun to weaken in recent years.

Consistent with decades of rejectionist policy, the Palestinians have repeatedly condemned the U.S.-brokered Israel-UAE deal because it flies in the face of the Arab world’s boycott of Israel.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki told the Arab League in Wednesday’s meeting that the Palestinian Authority called for an emergency meeting following the announcement of the UAE-Israeli deal.

He said one Arab League member opposed a Palestinian request to add an item to the meeting agenda, an apparent reference to a Palestinian-introduced draft resolution on the deal. Al-Malki did not name the country.

The meeting was held online because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Al-Malki described the deal between the UAE and Israel as “an earthquake” that hit the Arab consensus over the Palestinian cause and he urged Arab foreign ministers to reject the deal, “otherwise our meeting will be considered a blessing or collusion with it, or a cover for it.”

Hossam Zaki, the Arab League’s deputy secretary general, told a news conference in Cairo that the foreign ministers failed to reach a compromise on a resolution on the UAE-Israeli deal because of differences between the Palestinians and Emirates on the wording of the Palestinian-introduced draft.

Al-Malki accused the U.S. of pressuring other Arab countries to normalize ties with Israel, which he described as a “colonial and racist occupation.”