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Ex-Israel MK: Arab countries seek normalisation with Israel under guise of Al-Aqsa crisis

A number of Arab countries used the events at Al-Aqsa Mosque last month to continue their efforts to normalise relations with Israel, former Arab Member of the Israeli Knesset, Azmi Bishara, warned.

Some countries, including Saudi Arabia, claimed that they were working on solving the crisis in Al-Aqsa Mosque, after the Israeli occupation increased "security measures" at the Muslim holy site. The Kingdom had also announced that it was because of its efforts that the measures were revoked. However, Bishara stressed that the Jerusalemites and the solidarity of the Arab and Islamic people with them is what compelled the occupation to retreat.

Bishara went on to say that the Gulf's siege on Qatar, where he lives in self-imposed exile, is an effort to settle an old score as Qatar stood with the Arab Spring revolutions whereas Saudi Arabia and the UAE supported the counter-revolutionary forces.

Calls by these states for "secular governments", Bishara said, did not mean that citizens would be allowed greater freedoms; rather that the authoritarian regimes would sanctify state leaders even more.

He added that the issue of the governments' fairness do not play a role in the struggle for influence in the region.

Read: If Al-Aqsa is to be protected long-term, Israel's occupation must end

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