The controversial deal between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel to normalize ties continues to receive flak from across the globe, with the deal being branded a “betrayal of the Palestinian cause.”
Civil society and Muslim groups urged the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to convene a summit to “reaffirm solidarity for the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian State.”
In a statement, the Movement for an Informed Society Malaysia (WADAH) called on the OIC to convene a summit to reestablish the commitment to peace in the Middle East, end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and reaffirm the solidarity for the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital.
Condemning the UAE-Israel deal, the movement said it would undermine Palestinians’ rights to return to and/or remain in their homeland.
“The UAE is now seen as a mere pawn that is being exploited by Israel and the US to serve their geopolitical ambitions in the Middle East,” the group said.
The pact was announced last Thursday, in a move forestalling Israel's controversial plans to annex large swathes of the occupied West Bank. The deal is expected to be inked within three weeks.
The UAE is the first Gulf state and third Arab nation to have full diplomatic relations with Israel after Egypt and Jordan.
“The balance of power has steadily tilted towards Israel,” the Malaysian group added. “The diplomatic accord will abolish the 2002 Peace Plan which envisioned a normalization of diplomatic relations between the Arab World and Israel in exchange for a full withdrawal by Israel from occupied Palestinian territories.”
- ’Betrayal’ of Palestinian cause
In a joint statement, a Malaysia-based Muslim groups said: “We reiterate unreservedly our position that the move is not only a betrayal of the Palestinian cause but also detrimental to the interest of the ummah [Muslim community].”
“The issue is fundamentally about the legality of Israel's existence and the continued oppression of the Palestinians,” said the statement issued by the Malaysian Consultative Council of Islamic Organizations, Alliance of World Mosques in Defense of Al Aqsa, and Secretariat of the Ulema Assembly of Asia.
Palestinian groups have denounced the deal, saying it does nothing to serve the Palestinian cause and ignores the rights of Palestinians.
“The UAE is not preserving the interests of the nation and its people as Israel, known for its deception, will ensure its interest comes first. This is what happened to Jordan and Egypt,” the joint statement said.
- ‘Deal hinders founding independent Palestinian state’
The Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) said it will continue to “stand by and support” the Palestinian people and their rights to a sovereign and independent Palestinian state.
“Recent deals between the occupying forces of Israel and Arab countries [UAE] undermine the existing negotiations and hinder the establishment of an independent Palestinian state,” the ANIC said in a statement.
The ANIC urged the international community and the Arab and Muslim world to “do more in protecting the rights and freedoms of the Palestinian people and have a duty to take proactive steps towards facilitating the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.”
“The Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) is committed to standing with and advocating for the rights of the Palestinian people and the state of Palestine with its capital Jerusalem,” the statement added.
By Riyaz ul Khaliq