Palestinians: Gulf states working to foil anti-normalization resolution

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The Palestinian Authority has accused the UAE of violating the terms of the Arab Peace Initiative by agreeing to normalize its relations with Israel in exchange for nothing.

Arab League foreign ministers gather at their annual meeting earlier this year. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Arab League foreign ministers gather at their annual meeting earlier this year.

(photo credit: REUTERS)

The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and other Gulf states are trying to foil a Palestinian draft resolution that aims to prevent normalization between Israel and the Arab countries, Palestinian officials said Sunday.

The draft resolution has been presented to the Arab League, whose foreign ministers are expected to hold a video conference on September 9 to discuss the latest developments concerning the Palestinian issue.

On Monday, Arab envoys to the Arab League will hold a meeting in preparation for Wednesday’s virtual conference.

The Palestinian draft resolution calls on all Arab states to adhere to the Arab Peace Initiative and United Nations resolutions pertaining to the Israeli-Arab conflict.

Adopted in 2002, the Arab Peace Initiative calls for normalizing relations between the Arab world and Israel in exchange for a full withdrawal by Israel to the pre-1967 armistice lines, a “just settlement” of the Palestinian refugee issue based on UN Resolution 194 and the establishment of a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.

The Palestinian Authority has accused the UAE of violating the terms of the Arab Peace Initiative by agreeing to normalize relations with Israel in exchange for nothing.

Immediately after the announcement of the Israel-UAE deal, the PA called for an emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers to discuss the “dangers” of the normalization agreement and to stop other Arab countries from establishing relations with Israel. The PA has repeatedly accused the UAE of “stabbing the Palestinians in the back” and “betraying al-Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem and the Palestinian issue.”

The Arab League, however, did not comply with the PA demand and said the foreign ministers will hold their regular meeting on September 9.

According to some reports, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit was behind the decision not to hold an emergency meeting of the foreign ministers due to current differences in the Arab world regarding the issue of normalization with Israel.

The PA hopes the foreign ministers will endorse the Palestinian draft resolution and reiterate the Arab world’s unwavering support for the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 lines.

“Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates are trying to obstruct our draft resolution,” a senior PA official told The Jerusalem Post. “The two countries are opposed to any resolution that opposes normalization with Israel.”

Bassam Salhi, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, called on the Arab countries to abide by the terms of the Arab Peace Initiative. Those who oppose the draft resolution are “stabbing the Palestinians in the back,” he said.

Hussein Hamayel, a senior member of the ruling Fatah faction, said Bahrain’s opposition to the draft resolution “places it on the side of the enemies of the Arabs and Muslims.”

Some Gulf states have been exerting pressure on the Arab countries to avoid adopting any resolution that condemns the UAE for its deal with Israel, another PA official said.

“Under the current circumstances, I doubt if the foreign ministers would be able to agree on a joint statement regarding the Palestinian issue,” the official told the Post.

The PA also wants the Arab foreign ministers to discuss financial aid to the Palestinians, he said, adding: “The Arab countries haven’t fulfilled their financial obligations to the Palestinians since the beginning of this year.”

In addition to the Palestinian issue, the foreign ministers will also discuss “Turkish and Iranian interventions in the internal affairs of Arab countries,” Arab League Assistant Secretary-General Hossam Zaki said.

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