Palestinians taking part in Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem trampled and then set fire to a poster of the United Arab emirates leader to protest the normalization deal announced Thursday between Israel and the UAE.
The worshipers took turns stamping on the poster of UAE de-facto ruler Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in a sign of disrespect, while waving a Palestinian flag over it. They then tried to set the poster on fire.
The incident continued until Israeli policemen stepped in and took the poster away, while Palestinians chanted “Allahu Akbar.”
Palestinians also held protests against the deal in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
In Nablus, in the northern West Bank, they burned posters of bin Zayed, US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In Gaza City, supporters of the Islamic Jihad terror group marched in protest, carrying signs that read: “Normalization is a treason” and “Palestine is not for sale”
The deal announced has been met with mounting anger by the Palestinians. The Palestinian Authority called it a “despicable decision” and urged the UAE to “immediately retract” it.
This is what the Palestinians think of Muhammad bin Zayed (MBZ), heir to the United Arab Emirates (Al-Aqsa Mosque plaza today at Friday noon prayers). pic.twitter.com/GksoqcdjIv
— Arab News Today (@ArabNewsToday) August 14, 2020
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called an emergency meeting of PA leadership in response to the agreement, while the PA recalled its ambassador to the UAE in protest over the deal.
“The Palestinian leadership rejects the actions of the Emirati government, considering it to be a betrayal of the Palestinian people and Jerusalem and al-Aqsa,” PA spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh said in a statement read aloud on Palestine TV.
— محمد الداية #فلسطين ???????? (@mohammedddaya1) August 14, 2020
Abu Rudeineh accused the Emirates of “conducting normalization [with Israel] in the guise of supporting the Palestinian cause.”
Abu Dhabi has sought to portray its action as first and foremost benefiting the Palestinians, as it puts off and possibly cancels Israel’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank.
“The leadership affirms that the UAE, or any other party, has no right to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people, and does not allow anyone to intervene in the [Palestinians’] affairs or speak on their behalf about their legitimate rights in their homeland,” Abu Rudeineh said Thursday.
Abu Rudeineh said that the Palestinian Authority demanded an emergency meeting of the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to denounce the agreement.
Abbas and Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh spoke over the phone Thursday night to discuss the UAE-Israel agreement.
The Palestinian Authority also recalled its ambassador to the UAE in protest over the agreement, PA Foreign Minister Riad al-Maliki said in a statement.
Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced the agreement Thursday afternoon. The two sides “agreed to the full normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates,” they said in a joint statement. “As a result of this diplomatic breakthrough, and at the request of President Trump with the support of the United Arab Emirates, Israel will suspend declaring sovereignty over areas outlined in the President’s Vision for Peace and focus its efforts now on expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world.”
UAE officials commenting on the agreement to “establish a roadmap towards launching common cooperation,” as UAE Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash put it, emphasized that it would end Israeli annexation and revive the peace process.