Palestine

Hamas condemns Israeli president’s visit to UAE

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has lambasted the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for allowing Israeli President Isaac Herzog to visit the Persian Gulf Arab country as the occupying regime continues with its crimes against Palestinians.

On Sunday morning, Herzog arrived in the UAE on the first such visit, more than a year after Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv signed a US-brokered normalization agreement that infuriated Palestinians, who condemned it as a stab in the back, and provoked a sharp backlash in the region.

Before leaving for the UAE, the Israeli president said he would be meeting the leadership of the UAE at the personal invitation of Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, claiming that he was carrying a “message of peace to the entire region.”

Herzog will also visit Expo 2020 in Dubai.

En route to UAE, Herzog’s plane flew over Saudi Arabia, which he said was “truly a very moving moment.”

Later in the day, Hamas in a statement condemned the UAE for allowing such a visit, stressing once again its strong rejection of all forms of normalization with the occupying regime and its leaders.

Hamas, whose statement was carried by the Palestinian Information Center, said such a visit took place as the Israeli regime persistently violates the rights of the Palestinian people in the occupied East al-Quds, the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian resistance movement also warned that the reception of Israeli leaders in Arab countries will encourage Israel to commit more crimes against Palestinians.

Hamas also called for renouncing “the path of normalization that only serves the Zionist interests in the region and goes against the national interests of the Arab and Muslim countries and peoples.”

The Israeli regime recently announced it would come to the aid of the UAE, supporting its military actions against Yemen. On January 18, Israel offered security and intelligence support to the UAE against retaliatory drone attacks from Yemen.

Since they agreed on the so-called Abraham Accords at the White House in August 2020, Israel and the UAE have signed a raft of deals in various areas, ranging from tourism to aviation and financial services. Top Israeli authorities have already visited the UAE, but the regime’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was the most senior official who made the trip last month.

At that time, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance movement strongly condemned the UAE officials over receiving Bennett, stressing that any normalization and alliance with the Tel Aviv regime amounts to “betrayal to Palestine.”

“Bennett’s reception would help the criminal [Israeli] regime beef up its security and would be an attempt to legitimize the regime’s false existence, wash the hands stained with the blood of Palestinian children and innocent people, and exonerate Israeli murderers and terrorists from their crimes against the entire Palestinian nation,” the movement said in a statement released on Monday.

Israel opened its diplomatic mission in Abu Dhabi in June last year, and less than a month later the UAE officially opened its own in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.

Palestinians, who seek an independent state in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip with East al-Quds as its capital, view the normalization deals with Israel as a betrayal of their cause.

A member of the Palestinian Fatah movement’s Central Committee has suggested that the UAE must be expelled from the Arab League due to normalization with Israel.

 

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