GAZA CITY, Palestine

Iran’s foreign minister and the political head of Hamas discussed on Friday a recent deal between the UAE and Israel to normalize relations. 

In a phone call, Iran’s Jawad Zarif said Tehran stood by Palestinians and that the agreement was unacceptable, according to a statement by Hamas.

“We’re confident that the heroic Palestinian people, Arab and Muslim worlds are strong enough to foil this agreement,” Zarif said.

Ismail Haniyeh, for his part, thanked Iran for defending Palestinians’ rights.

“Palestinian people stand up for their cause and resistance,” Haniyeh stressed.

The deal to normalize UAE-Israeli ties was announced by US President Donald Trump on Thursday, forestalling Israel’s controversial plans to annex large swathes of the occupied West Bank.

A joint statement by the US, UAE and Israel said the “breakthrough” would promote “peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders,” referring to Trump, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu.

Palestinian groups denounced the agreement, saying it does nothing to serve the Palestinian cause and ignores the rights of the Palestinian people. The UAE’s peace deal with Israel is a “treacherous stab in the back of the Palestinian people,” Hamas said in a previous statement.

Egypt, Oman and Bahrain expressed their support to the normalization of relations between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv.

* Writing by Zehra Nur Duz

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