By Charles Bybelezer for The Media Line, November 27, 2018
Palestinians Call Urgent Meeting Of Arab League In Protest Of Arab Rapprochement With Israel
The Palestinian Authority has called for urgent meetings of the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in protest of the ongoing rapprochement between various Middle East and Muslim countries and the Jewish state.
“There are a number of Arab and Islamic resolutions and declarations stating explicitly that there will be no process of normalization with Israel without [solving] the Palestinian issue,” Nabil Sha’ath, a senior adviser to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, told Israeli media.
This comes on the backdrop of this week’s surprise visit to Israel by the president of Muslim-majority Chad, and amid reports that Jerusalem is eyeing the establishment of full diplomatic relations with Sudan, Bahrain and Oman. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday announced that he would soon be visiting other Arab states; this, on the heels of his October trip to Muscat that immediately preceded Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev’s visit to the United Arab Emirates.
Then there are burgeoning ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia, whose Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman was the first Gulf leader to publicly acknowledge Israel’s right to exist and call for its regional integration.
According to Sha’ath, Israel, with American backing, is exploiting the intra-Palestinian divide between the PA-dominated West Bank and Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip in order to “draw closer” to the Arab-Islamic world, a development that he described as “a worrisome process that needs to be stopped.”
Meanwhile, members of the Trump administration’s peace team recently met in Washington amid reports that the much-anticipated American proposal to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is essentially complete.
There is nevertheless a debate within the White House over the timing of the plan’s roll-out, with one of the primary factors being political instability in Israel that at any moment could manifest in the dissolution of the government and elections before November 2019.
Despite the boycott imposed by the PA on Washington in the wake of President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Ramallah reportedly has contacted U.S. officials in order to demand inclusion of a number of elements in the peace proposal.