PLO, Hamas to hold joint rallies decrying UAE, Bahrain normalization with Israel
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PLO, Hamas to hold joint rallies decrying UAE, Bahrain normalization with Israel

Previous protest featuring senior officials from both major Palestinian factions drew only a few hundred

Palestinians hold a poster with crossed-out pictures of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Dubai ruler Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, US President Donald Trump, and Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, during a rally organized by Hamas in the central Gaza city of Deir al-Balah on September 12, 2020, to condemn the Israel-Bahrain normalization agreement. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)
Palestinians hold a poster with crossed-out pictures of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Dubai ruler Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, US President Donald Trump, and Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, during a rally organized by Hamas in the central Gaza city of Deir al-Balah on September 12, 2020, to condemn the Israel-Bahrain normalization agreement. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)

Palestinian factions including Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction of the PLO and the Hamas terrorist group on Sunday announced a “day of popular rejection” to protest the signing of normalization deals between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain on Tuesday.

“We call on the vital forces, civil, public, student, and feminist institutions along the width and breadth of our beloved Arab homeland. Will not the Arab flag of pride and the Palestinian flag be raised in condemnation and rejection to this shameful agreement on this black day?” the joint Palestinian leadership said in a statement.

Activities will be held “all across the country” on Tuesday and Friday, according to the statement.

The announcement comes two days after the US announced that Israel and Bahrain would be establishing full ties, drawing angry denunciations from Palestinians, who have found themselves increasingly isolated by Gulf states opening up to Israel.

The Abraham Accords, as the agreement is official known, are set to be signed on Tuesday at noon at the White House.

It will be the first attempted popular action undertaken since a highly publicized meeting of Palestinian faction leaders of September 3, including both Palestinian Authority President Abbas and Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh. That meeting concluded with the creation of a committee to release recommendations for joint Palestinian political action.

This combination of pictures taken on September 3, 2020 shows (L to R) representatives of Palestinian factions gathered at the Palestinian embassy in Lebanon’s capital Beirut attending by video conference talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (screen); while their counterparts in the West Bank’s Ramallah watch the speech of Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh as he speaks in Beirut during the same meeting (ANWAR AMRO and Alaa BADARNEH / various sources / AFP)

The coming demonstrations will be “the realization of decisions made by the meeting of faction heads,” the statement said.

Hamas welcomed the joint declaration in a statement, calling it “a concrete step toward transforming the national agreement into acts on the ground.”

In an attempt to evoke the First Intifada, the leadership signed off as “the Joint National Leadership for Popular Resistance,” Fatah Central Committee Azzam al-Ahmad told Palestine TV.  The Joint National Leadership was one of the most significant Palestinian groups that organized the 1980s Palestinian uprising.

The meeting was received with skepticism by many Palestinians, who have seen many reconciliation attempts between their divided leadership come and go without success.

An earlier joint Hamas-Fatah rally condemning the UAE’s move to establish open ties with Israel drew only several hundred demonstrators to the West Bank village of Turmus Ayya, despite speeches by Fatah Secretary General Jibril Rajoub and senior Hamas official Hassan Yousef.

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