Palestine-BDS: Tuesday's White House photo-op won't lead to peace or justice

Palestine-BDS: Tuesday's White House photo-op won't lead to peace or justice
Amid Palestinian protests, the BDS campaign called the UAE-Israel agreement a 'cynical deal by corrupt, fanatic Israeli, Emirati, Bahraini and US rulers to sustain their brutal repression and rights violations'
3 min read
15 September, 2020
Palestinians protest in Gaza City against Israeli normalisation deals with the UAE and Bahrain [Getty]
The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement on Tuesday issued a stinging statement against the normalisation deal between Bahrain, UAE and Israel, saying the Arab leaders are "selling out" the Palestinian people for their own money-making interests.

The campaign group, which comprises dozens of Palestinian civil society groups, issued the condemnation ahead of the signing ceremony between the various leaders in Washington DC.

"Tuesday’s White House photo-op won’t lead to peace or justice," it said. "It’s a cynical deal by corrupt, fanatic Israeli, Emirati, Bahraini and US rulers to sustain their brutal repression and rights violations."

The group said that in response, it would intensify pressure for a military embargo against Israel.

"The UAE and Bahrain’s dictators are selling out the Palestinian people, ignoring their own citizens, for their belligerent and capitalist interests," the statement said, adding that the deals will only "escalate apartheid Israel’s ongoing land theft, ethnic cleansing, and siege of 2 million Palestinians in the Gaza ghetto".

"Supported by the absolute majority in the Arab world and progressives worldwide, Palestinians will continue to resist Israeli oppression and insist on our right to freedom, justice and equality," it concluded, calling for targeted sanctions against Israel.

Established in 2005, BDS promotes various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law and provides basic human rights for Palestinians.

Hundreds protest across Palestinian territories

Meanwhile, hundreds of Palestinians protested on Tuesday against the normalisation deals with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, hours ahead of a signing ceremony at the White House.

Clutching Palestinian flags and wearing blue face masks for protection against the novel coronavirus, demonstrators rallied in the cities of Nablus and Hebron in the occupied West Bank and in the Gaza Strip.

A demonstration in the West Bank city of Ramallah, home of the Palestinian Authority, was scheduled for later on Tuesday.

Banners were displayed at the protests, reading "Treason", "No to normalisation with the (Israeli) occupier" and "The agreements of shame".

The decision by the UAE and Bahrain to normalise ties with Israel breaks with decades of consensus within the Arab world that a peace deal with the Palestinians is a prerequisite for establishing relations with the Jewish state.

In Gaza, protesters trampled on and set fire to placards showing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa and the UAE's Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

"We say to the Bahraini regime and the Emirates that this normalisation is a total betrayal of the Palestinian cause and the hopes of the Arab nation," said Ahmad al-Medalal, an Islamic Jihad official in Gaza.

The imminent signing of normalisation agreements with Israel marks a "black day" for the Arab world, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said on Monday.

In recent years Israel and the United States have pressed Gulf states to move forward with establishing relations with the Jewish state, particularly in light of their shared animosity towards Iran.

Netanyahu arrived in Washington on Monday and hailed the "historic" agreements with the UAE and Bahrain.

Israel has previously signed peace deals with just two Arab nations, Egypt and Jordan, in 1979 and 1994, respectively.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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