As the Arabian Gulf begins to open up to Israel, Palestinians face off

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s rapprochement with Gulf Arab states has left Palestinians abandoned by traditional allies and clutching an old playbook in a rapidly changing Middle East, analysts and critics say.

File photo: The Palestinians pray next to a fake coffin of the Arab League during a protest against normalizing relations with Israel on September 11, 2020, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

As the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain prepare to sign normalization charges with Israel at a White House event on Tuesday, Palestinian leaders call for thwarting their strategy to avoid being marginalized in the region, Where Israel and most Sunni Arab regimes share their fear of Iran.

The Palestinian approach to gaining independence from Israeli occupation has relied on a long-standing pan-Arab position for years, with the acceptance of the Palestinian state of the West Bank and Gaza and Israel in return for normal relations with Arab countries. Was demanded to be withdrawn.

But last week the Palestinians failed to convince the Arab League to condemn the countries that broke the Arab League.

Tuesday’s ceremony, organized by US President Donald Trump, will be “a dark day in the history of Arab countries”, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shatayh said on Monday.

Shtayyeh said Palestinians are now discussing whether to “adjust the relationship with the Arab League of Palestine.”

But critics say the proposed move is too late, with President Mahmoud Abbas facing increasing criticism for his isolated status.

“There is little indication that the (Palestinian) leadership is considering a break from their perspective,” said Tarek Bacony, an analyst with the International Crisis Group.

Baconi said the Palestinians ‘strategy to include Israel in an international legal tribunal is central, and is trying to break the United States’ dominance over the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

“Arab and European support is important in that strategy, but it is doubtful that the Palestinians will be able to secure themselves to the level necessary just to ensure peace.”

Two-step solution

Despite signs of shifting Arab support, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Secretary-General, Saab Erect, said the underlying Palestinian strategy to obtain the state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza would not change.

He said, “International law, to remain on the basis of international legitimacy, to end Israeli occupation and to seek peace on the basis of a two-state solution … We cannot depart from these sections, “He told Reuters.

Facing the difficulties of a Palestinian leadership in the Israeli occupation, analysts say Abbas has few options.

Analysts say Abbas’s Fatah and Islamist Hamas, following long-running elections between two major Palestinian factions, will boost the president and parliament’s mandate again and increase their legitimacy at home by increasing their legitimacy at home .

Gaza analyst Talal Okal said, “We need … to rebuild the PLO’s institutions from the ground up and cement relations between the Palestinians and in the diaspora.”

More than six million migrant Palestinians said “they can affect the communities in which they live so the Palestinian cause has a place in the agenda of their host governments.”


One area where Abbas has received widespread public support – 70% in recent elections – is his two-year boycott of the Trump administration, which he calls Israel’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Israel’s support of West Bank settlements. Allegations of partiality.

Frustrated by the Palestinians refusal to participate in Trump-led talks, the White House has sought to sidestep Abbas and his team, ostensibly to see the deal with the UAE and Bahrain as an incentive to return to negotiations To return.

For more than two years, Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has tried to appeal Abbas directly to the Palestinians, telling the Al-Quds newspaper in 2018: “The world has moved forward when you’re left behind. Do not allow your grandfather’s struggle to determine the future of his children. “

There has been little success in this. And first the Palestinian leadership engaged with the Trump administration. He concluded, he said, that “these people want to work out a solution, not negotiate a solution … they are the ones who are moving away from international law.”

Dennis Ross, who served as a Middle East adviser under Republican and Democratic administrations, was a cautious word for both sides.

While the Gulf deals gave notice that the Palestinians do not have a veto over generalization as to regional dynamics “, they said” the Palestinians cannot wish to be overcome – and that Pat standing meant for two people in a state Risk also has to be increased. “

Graphic: Map of Trump’s Middle East Peace Plan –

Additional reporting by Nidal Al-Mugrabi in Gaza, Ali Sawfta in Ramallah, Adele Abu Nemeh in Jericho and Matt Spatelnik in Washington; Editing by Stephen Farrell, William McLean


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