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Arab states called on to cut ties with Israel, stop hosting US military bases

November 22, 2023 at 10:56 am

Hundreds of demonstrators carry placards with the words ‘America is the head of terrorism’ and Palestinian flags during a solidarity protest in support of Palestinians in Gaza, in downtown Amman, Jordan, on November 17, 2023 [ANNIE SAKKAB/Middle East Images/AFP via Getty Images]

A human rights organisation has called on Arab states to stop hosting US military bases and to cut ties with Israel in response to the occupation state’s ongoing assault on the Gaza Strip and the war crimes it is committing against Palestinians.

Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN) called on the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan to “withdraw immediately from the Abraham Accords with Israel and, alongside peace treaty signatories Egypt and Jordan, end all military coordination with Israel.”

The NGO insisted that those Arab states hosting US military bases, “including Jordan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Qatar, should publicly declare that they will not permit the US to use these bases to supply weapons to or provide protection for Israeli forces during its ongoing war against Palestinians in Gaza.”

In 2020, both the UAE and Bahrain signed the “Abraham Accords” with Israel, normalising relations with the occupation state and cementing cooperation and trade in the economic, technological, tourism, military and intelligence fields. Morocco did the same later that year, followed by Sudan in January 2021, each with their own conditions agreed upon with Washington and Tel Aviv.

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“The UAE and other signatories to the Abraham Accords should take responsibility for emboldening Israel into believing that it can wantonly bombard and massacre Palestinians with no consequence to its standing in the region,” said DAWN’s Executive Director, Sarah Leah Whitson. “Continued adherence to the Abraham Accords signals that the UAE and other Accords signatories are still supporting Israel and rewarding it with commitments for economic and trade development and most shocking of all, military coordination.”

Aside from many Arab states’ decades-long hosting of US military bases, which aids American forces in assisting Israel, there is also growing cooperation between those countries and Israel in initiatives backed by the US. Examples include the Middle East Air Defence Alliance (MEAD) and the Negev Forum, which aims to further integrate security cooperation with Israel and to form a regional alliance.

“Geneva Conventions impose obligations on states to ensure respect for the Conventions in all circumstances,” said DAWN. “This includes the responsibility to prevent and put an end to breaches of these conventions, not only within their own actions but also in their international relations. Continued military support for Israel violates these fundamental principles of international humanitarian law and raise serious legal and moral concerns.” The organisation called on Arab states to “critically evaluate their roles and take proactive measures to halt any form of assistance that might contribute to the perpetuation of atrocities in Gaza and the West Bank.”

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