Photo Credit: Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90
A few Arabs protest against the deal between Israel and the UAE in Hebron, August 16, 2020.

According to the Haaretz expert on Arab issues Jackie Khoury (בכירים ברשות הפלסטינית: ברמאללה מתקשים לגייס תמיכה מהעולם הערבי), Palestinian Authority officials are saying that Ramallah finds it difficult to pool together a significant response against the establishment of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. According to these officials, the lack of response from the regimes across the Arab world is a growing cause for concern in the PA.

“Normally, as was the case with the relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, the PA has been able to win official responses from the Arab capitals that adopted the Palestinian position, or to bring about an emergency meeting of the Arab League in Cairo, or another tactical move – all of which we are not yet able to promote,” one PA official told Khoury.


Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh on Monday said the PA leadership is expected to meet on Wednesday to discuss the “UAE-Israel-US agreement,” which he condemned as “betrayal of the Palestinian cause.”

Shtayyeh said at the start of his weekly cabinet meeting that the agreement is a “flagrant departure from the Arab consensus,” and rejected UAE the claim that the agreement has led to the cancellation of Israeli plans to annex Arab land, arguing that the decision to freeze the Israeli sovereignty plan was “due to the strong Palestinian opposition to it.”

The secretary general of the PLO Executive Committee, Saeb Erekat, on Sunday repeated his call for the resignation of the secretary general of the Arab League if the latter does not officially condemn the UAE move. But Erekat’s call was ignored.

The PA’s ambassador to the UAE Issam Masalha was ordered back to Ramallah, and according to the secretary general of the Fatah Central Committee, Jibril Rajoub, there were no plans to return him to Abu Dhabi in the near future. But no one in the Arab world seems to care.

Mahmoud Abbas, speaking with French President Emanuel Macron Sunday, said that “no country, including the United Arab Emirates, has the right to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people. If more Arab states take the same step, the Palestinians will react in the same way – no one has the right to use the Palestinian issue as an excuse for normalization with Israel.”

The fact is, a scan of Monday’s Arab press shows a general loss of interest in the Israel-UAE peace, and certainly no mention of the PA’s rage. At a time when the civilized world’s two major concerns are the pandemic and its economic consequences, Abbas, Erekat, Shtayyeh and Rajoub are just not very important.


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