Palestinians in Gaza on Saturday burnt photos of Israeli, American, Bahrain and UAE leaders protesting against the Gulf’s two-nation move to normalize relations with Israel.
Bahrain on Friday agreed to normalize relations with Israel by joining the UAE, which is partly forged through Iran’s shared fears but one that could leave Palestinians isolated.
The Gaza protest, attended by a few dozen people, was organized by the ruling group Hamas.
Hamas official Maher al-Holi said, “We have to fight the virus of normalization and block all our paths to prevent it from spreading.”
The protesters set fire to images of US President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and UAE’s Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al. Nahyan.
While the United States, Israel, UAE and Bahrain have taken diplomatic steps as an important step towards peace and stability Middle East, The Palestinians saw it as a betrayal.
They fear a weakening of a long-standing Pan-Arab situation, which calls for withdrawal from Israel-occupied territory and the Palestinian state to accept it in return for normal relations with Arab countries.
Despite a deep political rift in 2007, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose Palestinian Authority (PA) has a limited regime in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, and his Hamas rival have united against the Gulf countries’ move.
In the West Bank, Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Secretary-General Sahab Erekat said that the diplomatic push would not achieve peace if the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict was not resolved first.
“Bahrain, Israel, US agreement to normalize relations is now part of a larger package in the region. It is not about peace. It is not about relations between countries. We see an alliance, a military alliance Have been. Area, “Erekat said.
Meanwhile, Iran said on Saturday that Bahrain’s move meant it would complicate Israel’s policies, which threatened regional security, Iranian television television reported. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said Bahrain would “harshly retaliate” the Gulf state’s move from its own people and Palestinians.
Turkey condemned the agreement, saying that it had reduced the Palestinian cause and would “advance Israel to continue its illegal practices … and attempt to make the occupation of Palestinian territories permanent”.
Bahrain opposed its government’s agreement to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, venting its frustration on social media on Saturday, underscoring the complexities of the Gulf’s rapprochement Together Israel.
The hashtags #Bahrainis_against_normalisation and #NormalizationIsBetrayal were trending on Twitter after Trump announced the deal late Friday.
Bahrain, a Sunni-ruled state with a large Shia population, shares deep enmity with Iran, and relies on the United States, placing its fifth fleet on a small but strategic archipelago.
Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani said the deal was a historic step towards achieving peace in the Middle East, but the PA and Hamas condemned it as “another stab in the back” by an Arab government Of.
Unlike the UAE, the opposition to generalization deepens in Bahrain, which has a history of open politics, even if it has been suppressed for the past 10 years.
Former MP Ali Alswad wrote “It was a dark day in Bahrain’s history”.
The state – a small archipelago between regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran – has been in the grip of waves of unrest since 2011, when security forces crushed Shia-led protests demanding reforms.
Opposition group Al-Wafaq criticized the normalization deal.
“The agreement between autocratic rule in Bahrain and the Zionist-occupied government is a complete betrayal of Islam and Arabism and a departure from Islamic, Arab and national consensus,” he said on Twitter.
Bahrain and other anti-general groups based abroad expressed their anger at the statements calling the media “shameful”.
Saree Nusibeh, a former top PLO The official said the Palestinian leadership was “Very upset”.
“But I don’t think they are more nervous about the Arab world in general than in the past. The Palestinians have always complained that the Arab world is not standing behind them as they should have been.” Nusseibeh.
The Palestinian cause had already become less central as the region has been subjected to the Arab Spring upheavals, the Syrian war and bloody attacks by the armed group ISIL (ISIS).
At the same time, the enmity between Saudi Arabia and Iran has deepened.
Palestinian analyst Ghassan Khatib said, “There have been all kinds of problems in the Arab world – disputes, rebellions, civil wars, tensions between various Arab countries.” “Palestinians are now paying the price for the fall in Arab unity.”
The PA maintains the legitimacy of the so-called “Arab consensus” and rejects the notion that it is isolated. There has been a long-standing consensus that Arab states will only normalize relations if Israel meets several conditions.
There is a demand to withdraw Israel from the occupied territories in the 1967 Six-Day War.
Have to agree with another Palestinian state East Jerusalem As its capital, and the third to find a suitable solution for the millions of Palestinian refugees and their descendants.
“We expect Arab countries to remain committed to this agreement,” said Jibril Rajoub, a senior Palestinian official.
“Those who are violating Arab consent … will be isolated in the long run”, he warned.
A Western diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, shared the view that “Palestinians really have no way”.
“They are also trapped because of those who want to support their cause, whether it is Turkey or Iran.”
Iran already has links with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and a slightly colder relationship with the PA.
The Palestinian cause has also gained support from Turkey, a regional power that continues to grow with Israel and that supports a rival faction for the United Arab Emirates and Egypt in the Libyan war.
“Turkey has ambitions to lead the cause and is pointing to the hypocrisy of both Arab states and the West,” said Galia Lindenstraसe of Israel’s National Institute for Security Research.
Rajoub insisted: “We are not neglecting any country. Turkey is a regional superpower, it is an Islamic country and we are in good positions. We will continue to cooperate with everyone.”
But Khatib argued that Palestinians should keep their distance. “It is not wise for Palestinians to be caught between regional tensions and to compete among regional superpowers,” he said.
“If you are with Iran, you will lose to Saudi Arabia. If you are with Turkey, you will lose someone else. It is better for Palestinians to maintain a safe distance from these various regional superpowers.”