RAMALLAH

Hundreds of Palestinians Friday took to the streets in West Bank, burning the UAE flag and pictures of Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed to protest the UAE’s growing ties with Israel. 

According to eyewitnesses, hundreds of Palestinians protested in separate areas of the West Bank, denouncing the UAE’s agreement to officially normalize its relations with Israel.

In the town of Yatta in the Hebron Governorate, a group of masked men burned the UAE flag during a protest condemning the agreement. The demonstrators also chanted slogans rejecting the normalization agreement, which they described as “betrayal”, according to witnesses.

In the city of Nablus, hundreds denounced the agreement during a demonstration that took place after Friday prayers in Al-Shuhada Square. Young men participating in the demonstration trampled and burned the pictures of the President of the United States Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

In the town of Haris in the Salfit Governorate, Palestinian protesters raised pictures of the UAE’s Crown Prince embossed with the “X” sign and chanted slogans condemning the Emirati-Israeli agreement.

A joint statement by 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, Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Netanyahu.

The UAE’s official news agency also touted the agreement as a step towards bilateral relations.

The UAE becomes the third Arab nation and the first Gulf Arab state to have full diplomatic ties with Israel. The other Arab nations with diplomatic ties with Israel are Egypt and Jordan.

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

*Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara.

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