Palestinians protested in hundreds on the streets of Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank, denouncing the UAE and Bahrain normalisation deals with Israel as rockets were fired into the country.
Palestinians say only Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories can bring peace in the Middle East after Bahrain, UAE deals. The US- brokered deals were signed on Tuesday at the White House, where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Bahraini and Emirati officials.
Holding Palestinian flags and wearing face protection masks against the coronavirus, protestors rallied in the West Bank cities of Nablus and Hebron and in Gaza. Many protestors took part in a rally in Ramallah, home of the Palestinian Authority (PA).
The Banners reading “Treason”, “No to normalisation with the occupier”, and “The agreements of shame” were displayed. On of the demonstrator Emad Essa from Gaza said if people walk through the coastal enclave “you’ll see hundreds of Gazan youth who have lost their legs and got crippled for whole of their lives just for merely protesting against the Israeli blockade”.
The Israeli bulldozers continue to demolish Palestinian homes and ethnically cleanse the Palestinians out of their villages and cities in Jerusalem and West Bank on a daily basis, Essa told Al Jazeera.
“These Israeli crimes are just tip of the iceberg against the Palestinians, whereas Bahrain and the UAE decided to reward Israel for their crimes by making deals with it. The deals are dark mark on the forehead of those leaders who sold the Palestinian cause for a very cheap price.”
The participants trampled on the pictures of Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Netanyahu and Donald Trump. The event held in Washington DC is the first such significant agreement between Israel and Arab countries in a quarter-century.
Mahmoud Abbas said that peace can only be restored in the Middle East with Israel’s withdrawal from occupied territories.
“Peace, security, and stability could not be achieved in this region until the Israeli occupation ends,” he said after the signing ceremony, condemned by Palestinians as a “betrayal” of their struggle.
The Palestinian Unified National Command of Popular Resistance called for protests in order to reject the normalisation agreements. There was call for Friday to be considered as “a day of mourning in which black flags are raised in all squares, buildings and homes”.
Social media activists launched the hashtag “Black Day” in Arabic to mark the Gulf states’ fromal recognition of Israel. Hamas spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri said that the UAE, Bahrain and Israel agreements will not bring peace in the region. “Peoples of this region will continue to deal with the occupation as their true enemy,” he said.
There was a small protest in the de facto capital of the PA, Ramallah, at which 200 people gathered in a central square. On of the Palestinian protester from Hebron, Mohammad Mohanna said that we call on the Bahrain and UAE to backtrack from the agreement with Israel and support Palestinians in the same way as before and we wish no other Arab country would ever make an agreement with Israel.
“At a time where companies in the West are boycotting Israel, two Arab countries are about to make trade agreements with it.”
Jibril Rajoub, the secretary of the central committee of the Fatah Party, told the reporters “what is happening today in Washington is a form of collapse of the official Arab order”.
Meanwhile two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel at the same time the ceremony was being held. The cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod sounded with Sirens in north of the Gaza Strip. The Magen David Adom emergency service said that the paramedics treated and evacuated two people with non-life-threatening wounds from shrapnel whereas no group claimed responsibility.