Palestinians revisit strategy with Arab League amid historic treaties with Israel

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The Palestinian Authority reconsiders its ties with the Arab League as the leaders of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Israel joined President Trump on Tuesday in a historic signing of agreements – normalizing relations between the Arab nations and the Jewish state.

“These agreements mark a dark day in the history of the Arab nation and a defeat for the Arab League,” Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said in a statement on Monday, according to Israeli media.

Shtayyeh was urged by the Palestinian Authority to review its relations with the 22 members of the Arab League, after failing to condemn the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and the Gulf countries.

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Palestine has relied on the decades-long refusal of the Arab League to recognize Israel as a legitimate state, as long as Israel continues to occupy land that Palestine considers theirs.

The United Nations also claims that Israel has illegally occupied parts of the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza Strip since 1967.

Palestinian leaders view the recent normalized ties between Arab nations and Israel as a “stab in the back” and a threat to the Saudi-led Arab Peace Initiative – which seeks Israel’s total withdrawal from Israel. land occupied in exchange for diplomatic relations.

“The Arab League has become a symbol of Arab weakness,” Shtayyeh said, dismissing Tuesday’s ceremony.

“These peace agreements will kill the Arab peace initiative,” he added.

But President Trump said the negotiations between the UAE and Bahrain were just the tip of the iceberg as “five to six” more countries are said to be on the verge of establishing diplomatic relations with Israel.

“After decades of division and conflict, we mark the dawn of a new Middle East,” Trump said Tuesday from the South Lawn of the White House.

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Saudi Arabia is believed to be the next country the Trump administration is working on to normalize ties with the Jewish state, but the Saudi government has yet to announce such plans.

Until recently, Egypt and Jordan were the only two countries in the Middle East to have diplomatic ties with Israel, but Oman, Sudan and Morocco are also said to be on the verge of recognizing ties to the state. Jewish.

Four Arab League member countries established ties with Israel before formalizing any deal that would pressure Israel to liberate the occupied Palestinian territory, a move the Palestinian Authority regards as treason.

“It is a violation of the official and popular Arab position, and to place close and short-term accounts with the US administration, above considerations of strategic issues, and at the expense of the aspirations of the Arab and Islamic nation,” Palestinian rights and the legitimacy of occupation and settlements, ”the Palestinian prime minister said in a tweet ahead of Tuesday’s signing.

But UAE highlights the recent halt of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to annex parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank as a direct result of the ties established – although Netanyahu said his annexation plans had only been postponed , not prevented.

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Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi also called on Palestine to return to the negotiating table, without however specifying the terms it would negotiate in relation to the disputed territory.

“I call on the Palestinian leadership to understand the reality, to be responsible, to take a leadership role – as the UAE and Bahrain have done – and to return to the negotiating table,” Ashkenazi said, according to Israel Hayom .

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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