GAZA, Palestine 

The Palestinian resistance group Hamas said Wednesday that the normalization of ties between Israel and Sudan would not benefit the region.  

Hamas spokesman Hazim Qasim said comments by Sudan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman about Sudan’s endeavor to establish formal relations with Israel are in contradiction with the Sudanese people’s stance, which acknowledges Israel as an enemy.

“The normalization way encourages Israel to continue its aggression against the Palestinian people and to increase its crimes,” Qasim told Anadolu Agency.

Calling for the closure of the path to normalization, he said the normalization would benefit the expansionist Zionist project and not the people in the region.

“I cannot deny that there are contacts between Sudan and Israel,” Sudan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Haydar Badawi Sadig told Reuters on Tuesday.

Praising the normalization deal between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel, Sadig said “the Emirates’ move is a brave and bold step and contributes to putting the Arab world on the right track to build peace in the region and to build sustainable peace.”

Sudan’s Foreign Ministry later issued a statement saying it had learned of Sadig’s remarks “with astonishment.”

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Sudan confirms that the issue of relations with Israel was not discussed in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in any way, and Ambassador Haydar Badawi was not assigned to make any statements in this regard.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed Sadig’s remarks on seeking a peace deal with Israel.

“Israel, Sudan and the region will all benefit from a peace deal and will be able to build a better future together for all nations of the region,” Netanyahu said Tuesday in a statement.

US President Donald Trump announced a deal last week between Israel and the UAE to normalize relations.

The UAE is the first Gulf state and third Arab nation to have full diplomatic relations with Israel after Egypt and Jordan.

Despite reports that the deal halted Israel’s controversial plan to annex parts of the West Bank, Netanyahu confirmed his government’s continued commitment to go ahead with annexation plans.

Palestinian groups denounced the deal, saying it does nothing to serve the Palestinian cause and ignores the rights of Palestinians.

*Writing and contributions by Gozde Bayar

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