The Palestinian Authority is reconsidering its ties to the Arab League as leaders from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Israel joined President Trump on Tuesday for 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 an Israeli news release.
Shtayyeh has been urged by the Palestinian Authority to reconsider its ties with the 22-member Arab League after failing to condemn the establishment of diplomatic ties between Israel and the Gulf nations.
TRUMP DECLARES ̵
Palestine has relied on the Arab League’s decades-long refusal to recognize Israel as a legitimate state as long as Israel continued to occupy land that Palestine sees as theirs.
The UN also confirms that Israel has illegally occupied parts of the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza Strip since 1967.
Palestinian leadership views the recent normalized ties between the Arab nations and Israel as a “stab in the back” and a threat to the Saudi-led Arab peace initiative – which seeks the full withdrawal of Israel from the occupied countries in return for diplomatic ties.
“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 negotiations between the UAE and Bahrain were only the tip of the iceberg, as another five to six countries are reportedly on track to establish diplomatic ties with Israel.
“After decades of division and conflict, we are marking the beginning of a new Middle East,” Trump of the White House South Lawn said Tuesday.
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It is believed that Saudi Arabia is the next country the Trump administration is working on to normalize ties with the Jewish state, but the Saudi government has not yet announced such plans.
Until recently, Egypt and Jordan were the only two Middle Eastern nations that had formed diplomatic relations with Israel, but Oman, Sudan, and Morocco are reportedly close to recognizing ties to the Jewish state.
Four member states of the Arab League have established ties with Israel before formalizing agreements that will pressure Israel to liberate the Occupied Palestinian Territory, a move that the Palestinian Authority sees as a betrayal.
“It is a violation of the official and popular Arab position and placed narrow short-term accounts with the US government, over strategic issues and at the expense of the hopes of the Arab and Islamic nations, Palestinian rights and the legitimacy of occupation and settlement,” The Palestinian prime minister said in a tweet before Tuesday’s signature.
But the United Arab Emirates points to the recent halt to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plans to annex parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank as a direct result of the established ties – although Netanyahu has said his plans for annexation have only been postponed, not thwarted. .
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Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi has also called on Palestine to return to the negotiating table, although he did not specify what terms they would negotiate in relation to the disputed area.
“I urge the Palestinian leadership to understand the reality, be responsible, play a leading role – as the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have done – and return to the negotiating table,” Ashkenazi said, according to Israel Hayom.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.