Palestinian protests against the normalization agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain could lead to an intifada, Palestinian activists warned on Tuesday.
The warning came as Palestinians held protests against the “treacherous” agreements in some parts of the West Bank. The protests, organized by several Palestinian factions that are part of a new group called the Unified Leadership of the Popular Resistance, were held under the banner: “Normalization is a crime.”
“We are on the brink of a third intifada,” a Fatah activist told The Jerusalem Post. “The Palestinian people feels betrayed by the Arabs and will show the world that the Palestinian issue remains the central issue of all Arabs and Muslims.”
Other activists belonging to various Palestinian factions expressed hope that the Palestinian “day of rage” on the day of the signing ceremony of the normalization agreements at the White House would spark an intifada against Israel.
As part of the “day of rage,” Palestinians took to the streets in Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarm, Hebron and other cities to voice their rejection of the peace accords between Israel and the two Gulf states.
The protesters held placards that read: “No to normalization with the occupation,” “We won’t allow the blood of our martyrs to be turned into a merchandise for trade,” and “Palestine will remain Arab.”
The protesters also chanted slogans denouncing the UAE and Bahrain for making peace with Israel and accusing them of “betraying the Arabs and Muslims.”
Mohammed Dweikat, a senior official of the ruling Fatah faction, said during a demonstration in Nablus that the Palestinian issue is “facing the danger of normalization with the Israeli occupation.” Dweikat claimed that the normalization agreements were part of “a conspiracy to liquidate the Palestinian issue and rights.”
In Tulkarm, Faisal Salameh, a representative of various Palestinian factions, described the peace agreements as “humiliating for Arabs and Muslims.” He urged the Arab and Islamic states to refrain from establishing relations with Israel.
Mohammed Blaidi, a leader of the Palestinian workers’ union, condemned the normalization agreements as a “US-led conspiracy against the Palestinian people.”
In Hebron, scores of Palestinians, chanting “No to normalization and annexation,” vowed to thwart the normalization agreements and US President Donald Trump’s plan for Middle East peace, “Peace to Prosperity,” unveiled earlier this year.
Hebron Mayor Tayseer Abu Sneineh said “normalization is a crime and a disgrace.” The Palestinians, he added, are united in rejecting “all conspiracies.”
PA Governor of Jenin Akram Rajoub said during a protest in his city that “normalization is a betrayal of the Palestinian issue.” Rajoub called on the Arab countries to pressure the UAE and Bahrain to backtrack on their decision to establish relations with Israel.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas received a phone call from Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Saleh Arouri and discussed with them ways of “confronting the conspiracies against the Palestinian issue,” Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.
The phone call came during a visit by Haniyeh and Arouri to the Palestinian embassy in Beirut.
Arouri, the deputy head of the Hamas “political bureau,” is designated by the US Department of Treasury as a “specially designated global terrorist.” In 2018, the US State Department offered a reward of up to $5 million for information that would lead to the identification or location of Arouri, a key figure in forming ties between Hamas and Hezbollah responsible for handling Hamas terrorist infrastructures in the West Bank.
Abbas “expressed support for all efforts that affirm the unity of the Palestinians in the face of conspiracies against our national cause and all current moves aimed at liquidating our cause and depriving our people of their legitimate rights,” according to Wafa.
Haniyeh, for his part, stressed that his meeting with the Palestinian ambassador to Beirut “sends a message of unity, steadfastness and rejection of all projects and attempts to liquidate the Palestinian issue.”
Fatah, Hamas and all the Palestinian factions, he added, “will not allow the Palestinian cause to be a bridge for recognition of Israel at the expense our national rights.”
Nabil Abu Rudaineh, spokesman for the PA presidency, said the Palestinian leadership’s next steps will be based on achieving Palestinian unity and thwarting Trump’s peace plan and Israel’s intention to apply its sovereignty to parts of the West Bank. “The Palestinians won’t allow anyone to speak on their behalf,” he said, referring to the decision by the UAE and Bahrain to establish relations with Israel.
Abu Rudaineh said Tuesday’s protests deliver a message to the world that bypassing the Palestinians will lead to more tension and instability. He also accused the UAE and Bahrain of acting in violation of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which calls for normalization with Israel only after the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.
“The rights of our people are non-negotiable,” Abu Rudaineh added. “Jerusalem is not for sale.”