A report by the American website (Bloomberg) confirmed that the recent Gaza war and what Hamas rockets did, which surprised Israel and the world, torpedoed the recent normalization agreements for Tel Aviv with Arab countries, led by the Emirates, and countries wishing to join the normalization train will now think hard.
The report prepared for the site by researcher Hussein Ibish stressed that the Gaza war sabotaged Israel’s normalization processes with Arab countries, noting that in light of the focus on the plight of the Palestinians, friendship with Israel became an uncomfortable prospect.
With Israel evaluating its fourth war in Gaza – according to Bloomberg – its new allies from among the Arab Gulf states are counting the price for their friendship with it, while others are reviewing accounts on the perspective of signing the Abraham accords.
Rulers of the Emirates and Bahrain are in an uncomfortable position
He added that the new focus on the plight of the Palestinians in the occupied territories and the Arabs inside Israel put the rulers of the Emirates and Bahrain in an uncomfortable position, and gave their counterparts in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman an opportunity to think about the implications of the signature.
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The writer referred to the reasons that led both Bahrain and the UAE to sign the normalization agreements. On the Bahrain side, concerns about Iran were due to the Shah’s attempts in the 1960s to annex the island.
Where Bahrain’s rulers look at the other end of the Gulf with fear. The Islamic Republic’s support for the Shiite and sometimes violent opposition of the Sunni ruling family heightened their fears.
Bahrain considered that the alliance with Israel is reasonable in light of the desire of the United States to reduce its presence in the region. Especially since Israel has the same concerns as Iran.
In the case of the UAE, Iran is a factor in normalization in addition to Turkey and its ambitions in the region, as well as Ankara’s sponsorship of the Muslim Brotherhood. Hence, it believed that normalization would strengthen its relations with the United States and give the country an outlet for the advanced technology sector in Israel.
The UAE and Bahrain knew that the alliance with Israel would suffer from tensions due to the treatment of the Palestinians and Israel’s claims in Jerusalem, but they did not expect that the test of the relationship would come quickly.
The tension began at the beginning of May with harsh treatment of Palestinians in Jerusalem and the Israeli police storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which ignited anger in most of the Middle East, and even among the politically obedient residents of the Gulf.
The countries that decided to eat bread with the Israelis were harshly criticized by the Palestinians and Arabs. These fears and feelings forced the rulers of the Emirates and Bahrain to issue strong statements denouncing Israel’s actions in Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The writer says that the pressure on Bahrain and the UAE eased with the entry of Hamas, which fired continuous bursts of rockets at Israel, in the form of diverting attention from Jerusalem to a new war in Gaza.
He says Hamas is unpopular in the Gulf because of its extremist ideology. However, the increase in casualties, especially among Palestinian civilians, as well as the increase in anger against Israel, increased the embarrassment of the UAE and Bahrain, as Qatar used its giant media tool (Al-Jazeera Channel) to draw attention to the death and destruction caused by the Israeli raids and missiles.
Arab interest returned to Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa
Although the ceasefire agreement stopped the massacre, Arab attention returned to Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa, where tension increased again, which will cause new embarrassments to the UAE and Bahrain. The writer says that normalization with Israel has put the UAE and Bahrain at the mercy of players and events that they do not actually control.
This will not be missed by the other Gulf states, which until recently were considering signing the Ibrahim Accords. She may have reasons to sign, but she will have to wait for this month’s events to fade from public memory.
As it is, most of them will try to look for signals from Saudi Arabia, the most powerful country in the Gulf. And the initial signs are not encouraging. On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia prevented Israeli aircraft from flying over its airspace, although Riyadh began to open its airspace to fly from Israel after the UAE signed the normalization agreement.
Saudi Arabia’s signing of the agreements will be the ultimate prize, and Joseph Biden, who continues his predecessor’s policy, will encourage other Arab countries to normalize their relations with Israel. The Saudi signature will make it easier for other countries to follow.
The Saudi leadership is open to the idea of improving relations with Israel. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman broke the “taboo” in November when he met the Israeli prime minister. But as he watches the events of the past weeks, he will be aware of the uneasiness that the leaders of the Emirates and Bahrain are experiencing, and he knows how bad the situation would be if he put his signature next to theirs.
Strikes on Gaza “may constitute a war crime”
For her part, and in another context, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, considered Thursday that the Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip may constitute war crimes, during an emergency meeting of the Human Rights Council to discuss the formation of an international investigation committee on the abuses that accompanied the recent conflict between Israel And the Palestinians.
Read also: Sources: Hamas and Israel initially refused Egyptian mediation, prompting Sisi to coordinate with Qatar and Turkey
And the representative of Israel to the United Nations criticized the invitation to the meeting, saying that it “encourages or rewards Hamas,” stressing that Hamas fired thousands of rockets at Israeli cities while it had “the right to defend itself.”
At the opening of the emergency meeting to discuss the recent escalation between Israel and the Palestinians, Bachelet expressed her grave concern about “the large number of dead and wounded civilians” as a result of the attacks on Gaza.
And Bachelet added, “In the event that these attacks appear to have targeted in an indiscriminate and disproportionate manner civilians and civilian targets (…) they may constitute war crimes.”
“Despite Israeli claims that many of these buildings housed armed groups or were used for military purposes, we have not seen any evidence in this regard,” the High Commissioner said.
She said that Hamas’ rocket attacks “are indiscriminate and do not distinguish between military and civilian targets, and therefore resorting to them constitutes a clear violation of international humanitarian law.”
As for the Israeli air strikes on Gaza, it said that it left “many dead and wounded civilians, and caused widespread destruction and damage to civilian property.”
Between May 10 and May 21, 254 Palestinians were killed, including 66 children and a number of fighters, and 1948 Prime Time Zone were wounded, and 12 Israelis were also killed, including a child, a girl and a soldier.
The meeting will discuss a proposal to form an expanded international investigation committee to look into “all the alleged violations of international humanitarian law and all violations and alleged violations of international human rights law” that led to the recent confrontations between Israel and the Palestinians.
The proposal goes beyond the scope of the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, and requests that the committee examine “all the root causes of recurrent tension (…), including discrimination and systematic oppression on the basis of national, ethnic, racial or religious identity.”
The research deals with the “systematic” violations of human rights in the Palestinian territories and Israel.
The investigation will focus on “establishing the facts,” “gathering and analyzing evidence on these violations and abuses,” and “identifying those responsible (for them) as much as possible with the aim of ensuring that the perpetrators of the violations are held accountable.”
Upon announcing the meeting, the Israeli ambassador, Merav Shahar, condemned the invitation to the session, saying that “this proves that this body has an anti-Israel program” and called on member states to oppose holding the meeting.
“Hamas started this conflict,” the Israeli ambassador said, describing it as a “terrorist organization that glorifies death,” stressing that the Islamic Resistance Movement “intentionally escalated tensions in Jerusalem to justify its attack.”
The ambassador stressed that Hamas fired 4,400 rockets at Israeli cities, and Shahar urged the council not to “encourage or reward Hamas” for its behavior, stressing “Israel’s right to defend itself.”
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Malki responded to the Israeli ambassador’s statements, and told the Council that Israel’s practices are “consolidating its colonization.” We reject these flimsy arguments, and the equality between the colonized and the colonized, ”according to statements reported by the Palestinian News Agency,“ Wafa ”.
Al-Maliki accused the Hebrew state of establishing “a system of apartheid – based on the oppression of the Palestinian Prime Time Zone,” and stressed that “whoever has the right to self-defense and the duty to confront the occupation is we, the Palestinian Prime Time Zone.”
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