WEST BANK, PALESTINOW.COM — Hundreds of Palestinians protested Tuesday in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, denouncing the Emirati and Bahraini normalisation agreements with Israel as rockets were fired into the country.
The deals, brokered by the United States, were signed on Tuesday at the White House, where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Bahraini and Emirati officials.
Clutching Palestinian flags and wearing face masks for protection against the coronavirus, demonstrators rallied in the West Bank cities of Nablus and Hebron and in Gaza. Dozens also took part in a demonstration in Ramallah, home of the Palestinian Authority (PA).
Banners were displayed reading “Treason”, “No to normalisation with the occupier”, and “The agreements of shame”.
Palestinian demonstrator Emad Essa from Gaza said if people walk through the coastal enclave “you’ll see hundreds of Gazan youth who have lost their legs and got crippled for life for just for merely protesting against the Israeli blockade”.
“And in the West Bank and Jerusalem, the Israeli bulldozers continue to demolish Palestinian homes and ethnically cleanse the Palestinians out of their villages and cities on a daily basis,” Essa told Al Jazeera.
“That’s just the tip of the iceberg of Israeli crimes against the Palestinians, and the UAE and Bahrain somehow chose to reward Israel for these crimes by making agreements with it. The deals are stains of shame on the forehead of those leaders who sold the Palestinian cause for a very cheap price.”
Protesters trampled pictures of Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump, Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan before they were burned.
The ceremony in Washington, DC marked the first such significant agreement between Arab countries and Israel in a quarter-century.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas said that only Israel’s withdrawal from occupied territories can bring peace to the Middle East.
“Peace, security, and stability will not be achieved in the region until the Israeli occupation ends,” he said in a statement after the signing ceremony, condemned by Palestinians as a “betrayal” of their cause.