UAE activists sign petition condemning Israel normalisation deal
A group of 20 leading Emirati activists have signed a national petition condemning a US-brokered deal to normalise relations between the UAE and Israel, The New Arab's Arabic-language site reported on Wednesday.
The petition argues the so-called "Abraham Accord" is a violation of the Emirati constitution, describing it as a betrayal of the "dignified and glorious history" of Abu Dhabi's support for Palestinians and their right to self-determination.
It characterises the deal as "an affront to all resolutions" of numerous inter-governmental organisations, including the Gulf Cooperation Council, The Arab League and the UN.
The outcomes of the deal that have been lauded by UAE media - such as the postponement of Israel's plan to annexation of the West Bank and a direct air route for Muslim pilgrims to Al-Aqsa mosque - are "lame arguments" and a smokescreen for the UAE's endorsement of the Israeli occupation, the document adds.
Any UAE national can sign the petition, according to an activist who spoke to Arabi21, who cautioned of the real risks faced by those critical of Emirati state policy.
In the wake of the deal, government-linked Twitter accounts in the UAE have called on security services to monitor social media posts of residents opposed to normalisation.
Human rights organisations have noted the Gulf country's poor human rights record and crackdowns on free speech
Amnesty International has found that detainees, including foreign nationals in the country, are subject to "arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and enforced disappearance".
The UAE-Israel normalisation deal is the third of its kind between an Arab state and Israel. The two countries are now in negotiations to collaborate across a range of fields, from telecommunications through to healthcare, security and agriculture.
The deal was welcomed by some Arab governments, such as those of Egypt and Bahrain, but widely condemned on a popular level, particularly by Palestinians, with widespread protests against it.
Agencies contributed to this report.