Palestinians reject UAE-Israel agreement with protests

Jerusalem, Aug 14 (efe-epa).- Hundreds of Palestinians gathered in Gaza and the West Bank to reject an agreement for the normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced on Thursday.

Activists also burned flags bearing the face of UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan in Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade.

Dozens of Palestinians, some carrying images of al-Nahyan with the word “traitor”, protested after Friday prayers in the compound that houses the city’s Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

Hundreds of others took part in demonstrations in Gaza, where leaders from the Islamist movement Hamas which has ruled the strip since 2007 also condemned the agreement between Israel and the UAE.

“Palestine today declares the unity of its position and the strength of its unity,” Hamas leader Mushir al-Masri said.

He denounced the deal and described it as the “fall of the masks”.

Demonstrators chanted phrases including “Palestine is not for sale”, “no to normalization and no to those who lead normalization with the occupation”.

Rallies were also staged in the cities of Nablus and Hebron, in the north and south of the West Bank respectively.

Many are against the agreement as they consider it breaks a consensus between Arab countries not to formalize diplomatic relations with Israel before the establishment of the Palestinian state.

Although the agreement includes a temporary suspension of Israel’s annexation of parts of the West Bank, many Palestinians believe that instead of furthering their cause, it legitimizes Israel’s occupation.

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