Saeb Erekat, secretary of the PLO’s Executive Committee, said yesterday that the Israel-UAE deal, brokered with US help, was “an Arab dagger – a poisonous dagger – in my back”.
The UAE and Israel announced a US-brokered peace deal last week which would see the two establish diplomatic, trade and commercial ties.
During an interview with Sky News, Erekat stressed that any further chances for negotiations and peace between the Palestinians and Israel have been destroyed and the hand of extremists strengthened by the surprise deal between Israel and the UAE.
“Congratulations Trump, Mohammed Bin Zayed and Netanyahu. I think you killed the two-state solution, I think you killed any possibility of negotiations and I think you destroyed the Palestinian moderate camp; Palestinians who wanted peace, prosperity, human rights, women’s rights, the rule of law, accountability,” said Erekat.
Abu Dhabi said the deal was an effort to stave off Tel Aviv’s planned annexation of the occupied West Bank, however, opponents believe normalisation efforts have been in the offing for many years as Israeli officials have made official visits to the UAE and attended conferences in the country which had no diplomatic or other ties with Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu repeated earlier this week that annexation is not off the table, but has simply been delayed.
The officials described the agreement, to be known as the Abraham Accords, as the first of its kind since Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty in 1994.
“It really is a major blow,” added Erekat. “To call it the Abraham Accord translates immediately as ‘look Arabs, Mecca is yours, Jerusalem is theirs [Israel’s]’.”