More than a million sign petition against UAE-Israel normalisation

More than a million sign petition against UAE-Israel normalisation
3 min read
17 September, 2020
The anti-normalisation 'Palestinian Charter' has garnered over a million signatures in little over a day.
Palestinians protest against the Israeli normalisation agreement with the UAE and Bahrain [Getty]

A petition against the normalisation of relations between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain has garnered over a million signatures in little over a day.

The petition, called "The Palestine Charter", was launched in support of the Palestinian cause on Tuesday by 31 Arab NGO's, Anadolu Agency reported.

"Believing in the justice of the Palestinian cause and following my responsibility towards it, I am honoured to sign the Palestine Charter, through which I affirm that Palestine is an occupied Arab state and its liberation is a duty," the charter reads. 

"The Zionist entity is an occupying, racist and usurping entity of our Al-Aqsa Mosque and the land of Palestine, and normalisation with it in all its forms is a betrayal," it continues, in excerpts translated by Al Jazeera.

The pro-Palestinian organisations which endorsed the charter include the BDS movement and the Gulf Coalition Against Normalisation. 

A hashtag promoting the charter circulated on social media, as users encouraged friends and followers to sign.

The petition was released on the same day that US President Donald Trump hosted a signing ceremony in which Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates formally normalised relations with Israel.

The event on the White House South Lawn, attended by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the foreign ministers of Bahrain and the UAE, was the first time Arab nations established relations with Israel since Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.

For many in the Middle East, the deals dubbed the Abraham Accords mark a devastating shift in a decades-old status quo where Arab countries have tried to maintain unity against Israel over its treatment of the stateless Palestinians.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday that only an Israeli withdrawal from its occupied territories could bring peace to the Middle East.

The signing of the two agreements at a White House ceremony hosted by President Donald Trump prompted protest rallies across the Palestinian territories.

The deals broke with decades of Arab consensus that there would be no normalisation of relations with Israel until it had made peace with the Palestinians.

The US-backed initiatives by the UAE and Bahrain have been condemned by the Palestinians as a "betrayal" of their struggle to end the Israeli occupation and establish their own state.

Read more: Israel normalisation deals reflect the rupture between repressive regimes and Arab societies

Trump has nonetheless voiced confidence the Palestinians would eventually sign on to the US-brokered peace agreements - which he hopes will boost his reelection chances in November.

Under the deal with the UAE, Israel agreed to suspend planned annexations in the West Bank, although Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the project remains on the table.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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