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The New Arab Staff

UAE has 'no right' to speak for Palestinians, Abbas says

Mahmoud Abbas lashed out at the UAE [Getty]

Date of publication: 17 August, 2020

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Palestine's President Mahmoud Abbas said the UAE has no right to speak on behalf of Palestinians, just days after the Gulf country announced normalisation with Israel.
The UAE has no right to speak on behalf of Palestinians, Palestine’s president said in response to a "shameful" move to normalise relations with Israel.

During a phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron, Abbas affirmed no Arab country has the right to speak on behalf of Palestinians.

"We will not accept that the Palestinian cause is used as an excuse for normalization or for any other reason," he said, according to Palestinian Authority’s official news agency Wafa.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority announced a cross-party meeting on Wednesday discuss the latest developments including the prospects of future planned Arab normalisation with Israel.

Munir al-Jaghoub, head of the media office of the Fatah Mobilisation and Organisation Commission, confirmed to Arabi21 that the leadership of the Palestinian Authority as well as his movement had invited all national factions to attend the meeting in Ramallah.

Fatah’s long-time political rival Hamas will also attend, along with the fringe Gaza-based Islamic Jihad.

Al-Jaghoub explained that two main points will be addressed - the UAE's normalisation with Israel, along with Palestinian internal affairs.

Read also: UAE-Israeli alliance – Quid pro quo for Trump’s re-election campaign

The Middle East felt shockwaves, after Trump announced on Thursday that the UAE had normalised ties with Israel, only the third between the Jewish state and an Arab country, after Egypt and Jordan.

Palestinians of all political leanings – from the secular Fatah of Mahmoud Abbas to the Hamas Islamist – have been unanimous in their condemnation of the deal, viewing the UAE as sacrificing the Palestinian cause to gain commercial relations with Israel.

While the agreement supposedly delays Israel's plans to unilaterally annex large swathes of the West Bank and Jordan Valley, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeatedly urged that annexation will only be delayed.

Regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia has been conspicuously silent on the deal with no official reaction emerging from Riyadh.

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