Hamas-backed rally held in Gaza against Israel-UAE deal

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Hundreds of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip rally against the US-brokered deal to normalize ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Protesters burn Israeli and American flags, trample on posters of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump, and chant “normalization is betrayal to Jerusalem and Palestine.”

Unlike Palestinian protesters last Friday near the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, who also burned posters of the Emirati crown prince, the Gaza demonstrators stop short of burning symbols of the UAE — apparently not to antagonize the Gulf Arab country, where tens of thousands of Palestinians work and live.

The demonstrators in Gaza City also voiced support for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, for his rejection of Trump’s Middle East plan, which the Palestinians say unfairly favors Israel.

The protest was organized by the Hamas terror group, which rules the Gaza Strip, and by other factions.

Khalil al-Hayya, a senior Hamas official, denounces the Israeli-Emirati deal.

“Normalization with the occupation harms us and doesn’t serve us,” he says. “Instead, it serves and promotes the occupation in its projects that target Palestine and the region.”

— Agencies

Palestinians shout slogans during a protest against the United Arab Emirates’ deal with Israel to normalize relations, in Gaza City, on August 19, 2020. (Mohammed Abed/AFP)

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