UAE opposition establishes anti-normalization group against Israel

Written by on August 24, 2020

The dissidents claim that the normalization deal “legitimizes Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands,” calling it a “betrayal.”

PALESTINIANS HOLD a picture depicting Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan wearing a Jewish star during a protest against the UAE normalizing relations with Israel, in Turmus Aiya near Ramallah, on Wednesday. (photo credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS)

PALESTINIANS HOLD a picture depicting Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan wearing a Jewish star during a protest against the UAE normalizing relations with Israel, in Turmus Aiya near Ramallah, on Wednesday.

(photo credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS)

Dissidents in the UAE established an association against the normalization deal being signed between Israel and the Gulf state, reported the Turkish Anadolu Agency on Sunday.

The association, founded by six UAE dissidents, is called the UAE Resistance Union Against Normalization (al-Rabetat al-Emaratiyat Le Moqavemat al-Tatbi’e) and rejects any form of normalization with Israel, including on economic, sports, security, social and political issues.

The dissidents claim that the normalization deal “legitimizes Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands,” calling it a “betrayal.”

Saeed Nasser al-Taniji, Saeed Khadim bin Touq al-Mari, Ahmad al-Shaybah, Hamid Abdullah al-Nuaymi, Hamad Mohammed al-Shamesi and Ibrahim Mahmoud Al-e Haram are among the dissidents who founded the group.

The association aims to emphasize that the people of the UAE reject the agreement, have people who reject the agreement speak to people from the Gulf region and Arab countries, raise awareness about the “danger of normalization” among citizens of the UAE and support Palestinians.

It is unclear if the association has popular support within the UAE, but Turkish and Iranian media both pushed the story about the association in Arabic, Persian and English.

Al-Shaybah stated in a televised address that a people’s committee had been established in 2000 against normalization with Israel and remained operational until 2011.

Israel and the UAE agreed to full normalization of relations in a phone call with US President Donald Trump about two weeks ago, marking the first peace treaty between Israel and an Arab country in 25 years.

The agreement will include establishing embassies and exchanging ambassadors, investments into the Israeli economy, trade, direct flights between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi, an investment in Israeli efforts to develop a coronavirus vaccine – as first reported in The Jerusalem Post last month – and cooperation in matters of energy and water. An important element of the deal for the UAE is the expectation that its citizens would be able to visit the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

Lahav Harkov and Omri Nahmias contributed to this report.

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