Palestine’s Fatah will convene today to discuss the Israeli delegation’s first trip to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which took
Palestine’s Fatah will convene today to discuss the Israeli delegation’s first trip to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which took place on Monday following the normalisation of Israel-UAE relations in mid-August.
Within the fragmented sphere of Palestinian politics, the Israel-UAE deal has been met with condemnation by both the secular Fatah, which leads the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank, and the Islamist Hamas, which controls Gaza.
Officially titled the “Abraham Accord”, the Israel-UAE deal formalised already well-established relations between the two regional actors, resulting in a political loss of support for Palestinians, who were excluded from the talks. While the UAE has championed the deal for terminating Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s US-backed plan to annex certain Palestinian territories, the controversial plan is clearly not off the table given Netanyahu’s recent remarks confirming his commitment to it.
In reality, the Israel-UAE deal is nothing new for the Palestinians, but rather, a bitter reminder that for its allies in the Gulf, the strategic utility and economic promise of Israel—a direct rival of Iran—outweighs that of its own. The significant decline in Gulf aid to Palestine is telling of this trend. In face of this changing reality, expect Fatah’s priority in today’s meeting to be dissuading other Gulf countries from formalising ties with Israel; Bahrain and Oman are rumoured to be next.