KHALED ABU TOAMEH, CELIA JEAN
Sudan will be the third Arab nation to normalize ties with Israel.
Palestinians attend a protest against the reduction of the food basket provided by the United Nations for Palestinian Refugees in Khan Yunis on October 18, 2020. / (photo credit: ABED RAHIM KHATIB/FLASH90)
The Palestinian Authority said on Friday that it “condemns and rejects” the normalization of relations between Arab countries and Israel.
A statement by the PA presidency in Ramallah said that normalization with Israel is in violation of the Arab summit resolutions and the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.
The statement was published hours after the announcement that Sudan and Israel have agreed to normalize their relations.
Previous statements by the PA condemned the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain for agreeing to establish relations with Israel, drawing sharp criticism from the two Gulf states.
Friday’s statement by the PA, however, did not accuse Sudan of betraying the Palestinians or stabbing the Palestinian people in the back, as was the case with the UAE and Bahrain.
“No one has the right to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian issue,” the statement added. “The path to a just and comprehensive peace should be based on international law and legitimacy so as to end the Israeli occupation of the land of the State of Palestine and achieve independence for the Palestinian people in their state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on the 1967 borders. The Palestinian. Leadership will take the necessary decisions to protect the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.”
While not in the official PA statement, Wasel Abu Youssef from the Palestinian Liberation Front, a small faction in the Palestinian Liberation Organization, said that Sudan joining “others who normalized ties with the state of the Israeli occupation represents a new stab in the back of the Palestinian people and a betrayal of the just Palestinian cause.”
Abbas Zaki, a senior official of the ruling Fatah faction, said that Sudan would not gain anything from the normalization accord with Israel.
Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) also condemned the Israel-Sudan normalization agreement.
“We express our condemnation and outrage over the despicable and humiliating normalization that does not suit Sudan’s people and history,” Hamas said in a statement. “We call on the heroic people of Sudan to reject the shameful agreement and the establishment of any ties with the criminal enemy.”
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that the agreement was “not compatible with Sudan’s record of supporting the Palestinians.”
PIJ spokesman Daoud Shehab accused Sudan of presenting Israel with a “free gift” in order to appease the US.
“This is a black day in the history of Sudan,” Shehab added. “The agreement jeopardizes Sudan’s future and identity and is a betrayal of the Arabs and Muslims.”
The PIJ official expressed confidence that the Sudanese people would not accept this “betrayal.”
In Israel’s Knesset, Joint List MK Aida Touma-Sliman from the Arab Joint List slammed the agreement, and accused US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of running a criminal organization in the region.
“Either they sell weapons or they blackmail countries into achieving normalization – as is happening now with Sudan. All of it is for the goal of helping them electorally,” he said in a statement.
In Sudan, the Sudanese RT news agency reported that two political factions, the Popular Congress Party and the Sudanese Ba’ath Party, issued a statement condemning the Sudanese government’s decision to normalize relations with the Jewish State, Ynet reported.
At the same time however, the statement welcomed Sudan’s removal from the United State’s US list of state sponsors of terrorism.
The Sudanese Ba’ath Party announced that it would “begin political and social talks to form a national front against normalizing relations with Israel.”
The Sudanese Ba’ath Party said it was “beginning to hold political and social talks to form a national front against normalizing relations with Israel.”
Commending the agreement from the Arab world was Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who tweeted that he welcomed the joint efforts of all three states involved in the agreement.
He added that he also values “all efforts aimed at achieving regional stability and peace.
Sudan’s acting foreign minister that the normalization agreement will depend on approval from its yet-to-be formed legislative council.
“Agreement on normalization with Israel will be decided after completion of the constitutional institutions through the formation of the legislative council,” Omar Gamareldin said on state TV.
Reuters contributed to this report.