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  • Recent months have seen surprise meetings between Israel-s Netanyahu and Arab diplomats.

    Recent months have seen surprise meetings between Israel-s Netanyahu and Arab diplomats. | Photo: Reuters

Published 28 November 2018

The move from some Arab nations is seen by the Palestinian Authority as a betrayal of the people still suffering under occupation.

The Palestinian Authority said it was seeking emergency sessions from the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation as relations between Israel and Arab countries thaw amid strife in the Palestinian state from dramatic cuts in aid and raids by Israeli forces.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prided the recent diplomatic gains for Israel despite Jerusalem making no concessions on West Bank settlements.

“We are opening up the world,” Netanyahu said Monday. “Israel is enjoying unprecedented diplomatic flourishing, including in the Arab world… and the Muslim world.”
In a growing list of Arab countries opening up diplomatic relations with Israel, Chadian President Idriss Deby met with the Israeli Prime Minister in Israel Sunday.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain are expected to shift alliances with Israel over regional concerns over Iran. Currently, Israel’s full diplomatic relations reside with Jordan and Egypt only.

Last month, Palestinian officials condemned Oman for hosting the Israeli Prime Minister, saying the visit was a betrayal of the Palestinian people still living under brutal Israeli occupation in occupied territories.

“There are a number of Arab and Islamic resolutions and declarations stating explicitly that there will be no process of normalization with Israel without a resolution of the Palestinian issue based on the Arab Peace Initiative and decisions of the international community,” Shaath told Haaretz.

Meanwhile, Israel's occupation of the West Bank and the over-decades-long military blockade against Gaza, have in fact been emboldened by the U.S. since President Donald Trump came into power. Last December, the U.S. moved their embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem -- a holy site for Muslims, Christians, and Jews and home to Islam’s third most holy mosque, Al-aqsa. 

Despite that and the withdrawal of funding for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) which announced this week that all operations in the West Bank and Gaza will close by early 2019, Israel appears to be garnering more support from Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

In the past three days, 45 Palestinians have been reported arrested or detained by Israeli forces, some during pre-dawn raids, WAFA reports. Of those taken into custody, 21 were members of Fatah, the Palestinian nationalist political party.

Also just weeks ago Israel launched one of its most aggressive airstrikes against the Gaza strip since the summer 2014 Israeli 50-day attack on the Palestinian enclave, killing dozens and injuring hundreds. 

Ahed Tamimi, a young Palestinian activist and icon of the Palestinian resistance, called for solidarity with Palestinians last week, saying, “Support us in the struggle to obtain the most sublime gift which is liberty, justice, and democracy. That’s the best way to support us.”   

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