RAMALLAH, Palestine

The normalization deal between Israel and the UAE betrays Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa and the Palestinian cause, the Palestinian Authority said on Thursday.

“The Palestinian leadership strongly rejects and condemns the surprising American, Israeli, and UAE declaration on normalization of relations,” Nabil Abu Rudeina, a Palestinian Authority spokesman, said in a televised statement.

“This step comes in light of Israel’s insistence on consecrating the occupation and the annexation of parts of the Palestinian territories,” he said.

Abu Rudeina went on to assert that the Palestinian leadership considers this step a blow to the Arab peace initiative and the decisions of the Arab and Islamic summits, and international legitimacy.

“This is an aggression against the Palestinian people […] Palestinian rights and its sanctity, especially Jerusalem and the independent Palestinian state on the borders of June 4, 1967,” he said.

The spokesperson condemned the UAE’s step to trade suspension of illegal annexation for the normalization of ties with Israel and to use the Palestinian issue as a cover for this purpose.

The Palestinian leadership stressed that the UAE, or any other party, has no right to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people.

“We do not allow anyone to intervene in the Palestinian affairs or to report on our behalf about our legitimate rights,” he added.

Earlier, Trump announced Israel and the UAE have agreed to normalize relations, in a move forestalling Israel’s controversial plans to annex large swathes of the occupied West Bank.

A joint statement from the US, UAE, and Israel said the “breakthrough” will 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 Netanyahu.

Under the deal, Israel will “suspend” plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank “and focus its efforts now on expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world,” according to the statement.

“The United States, Israel and the United Arab Emirates are confident that additional diplomatic breakthroughs with other nations are possible, and will work together to achieve this goal,” it added.

The development marks only the third time an Arab nation has opened full diplomatic ties with Israel, and the Emirates is now the first Gulf Arab state to do so. The other Arab nations with diplomatic ties with Israel are Egypt and Jordan.

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