Palestinians: US envoy’s ‘annexation’ remarks refute UAE claim

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Friedman, in an interview with Galei Tzahal (Army Radio), said that the Israeli plan has been suspended for at least one year.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas delivers a speech from PA headquarters in Ramallah in January (photo credit: FLASH90)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas delivers a speech from PA headquarters in Ramallah in January

(photo credit: FLASH90)

Palestinians said on Wednesday that US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman’s statement that the plan to apply Israeli sovereignty to parts of the West Bank has not been canceled refutes the United Arab Emirate’s claim that its normalization agreement with Israel has stopped the “annexation” scheme.
Friedman, in an interview with Galei Tzahal (Army Radio), said that the Israeli plan has been suspended for at least one year.
“The words that we chose was to suspend the declaration of sovereignty,” Friedman said. “It means temporarily. It could take a year or two or more before we are back to that issue. We already made it clear that the issue has been postponed – that doesn’t mean that it’s canceled. It just means that for the time being, it’s on pause; it’s not off the table.”
UAE officials, defending the accord with Israel, have boasted over the past few weeks that the normalization agreement has frozen the plan to apply sovereignty to portions of the West Bank.
UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed told the United Nations General Assembly this week that the signing of the peace accord with Israel, with American support, “put a freeze on the annexation and opened broad prospects to achieve comprehensive peace in the region.”
A senior Palestinian Authority official told The Jerusalem Post that Friedman’s statement “proves that the United Arab Emirate’s claim that its agreement with Israel halted the annexation plan is untrue.”
Friedman’s statement, the official said, “also confirms our assertion that the United Arab Emirates did not get anything in return for signing its normalization agreement with Israel.”
A PLO official told the Post that “in wake of Friedman’s remarks, the United Arab Emirates must reconsider its decision to establish relations with Israel.”
The US and Israel, the official said, are “contradicting the UAE statements about the annexation plan. The UAE is telling us that it managed to stop the annexation, while the Israelis and Americans are saying that the plan is still on the table.”

Hamas said in response to Friedman’s statement that it “exposes the lies of those who rushed to normalize their relations with the occupation.”
Hamas spokesman Abdel Latif Qanou accused the UAE and Bahrain, the second Gulf state to sign a peace accord with Israel, of engaging in “deception to pass the crime of normalization.”

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