The United Arab Emirates (UAE) remains committed to a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict, a UAE official wrote in an Israeli daily on Monday, a day before the Gulf state was due to sign a historic peace treaty with Israel.
“Our deep and long-standing commitment to the Palestinian people is unwavering,” UAE Foreign Ministry Communications Director Hend Al Otaiba wrote in Haaretz.
“As the third Arab nation to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, we will advocate strongly for a two-state solution,” she told Israelis.
“The UAE position is unequivocal: We seek a warm peace with Israel,” she said, but added: “Israelis and Palestinians are next-door neighbours and require a just and lasting resolution to this decades-long conflict. It is overdue.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan are due to attend a formal signing ceremony on Tuesday with US President Donald Trump.
They are set to be joined by Bahraini Crown Prince Salman, after the Gulf kingdom followed in the UAE’s footsteps to announce a normalization of ties with Israel.
Furious Palestinians have declared a “Day of Popular Rejection” in the West Bank and Gaza Strip on Tuesday.
Both Arab Gulf states have deviated from a 2002 Arab League peace initiative. That deal preconditioned normalization of ties with Israel on the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and within the lines that existed before the 1967 Six-Day War, during which Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan and the Gaza strip from Egypt.
Palestinian factions, including the secular Fatah movement of President Mahmoud Abbas, who governs the West Bank, and the rival, radical Islamist Hamas movement in de facto control of Gaza, have joined forces and founded a new group, titled the Unified National Leadership for Popular Resistance.
The group has called for demonstrations on Tuesday outside US, Israeli, UAE and Bahraini embassies around the world.
It has also called on Palestinians worldwide to raise Palestinian flags on their homes.
Friday will be a day of mourning in which black banners will be raised in condemnation of the normalization agreements, it said, calling also for youths to march to Israeli army checkpoints in the West Bank on that day.