The Middle East has seen a surge of support for Palestinians following a bold attack by Hamas from the blockaded Gaza territory into Israel this weekend. This comes despite the establishment of relations between Israel and several Arab nations, including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco, in 2020.
These agreements, known as the Abraham Accords, were hailed as symbols of peace and tolerance. However, support for Palestinians and opposition to Israel’s occupation of their land remained strong in the region, particularly as Israel expanded settlements in the Palestinian West Bank.
The recent attack sparked widespread demonstrations in solidarity with Palestinians across the Middle East, including in Bahrain, Morocco, Turkey, Yemen, Tunisia, and Kuwait. The events underscore the deeply felt support for the Palestinian cause in the region and the instability of Israel’s position as long as the war continues.
Normalization Agreements Under Scrutiny
Many regional analysts argue that diplomatic normalization agreements between Israel and Arab governments will do little to change this. Bader Al-Saif, a professor at Kuwait University, stated that lasting peace and prosperity in the region can only be achieved by resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Challenges to Israel-Arab Relations
The Biden administration has been pushing for a deal that would establish ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia in exchange for significant concessions to the kingdom. However, the recent violence presents a significant challenge to these efforts. Many in the region view normalization as a betrayal, with polls showing that even in Arab countries with relations with Israel, a majority of citizens view the Abraham Accords negatively.
Despite this, some predict that a deal between Saudi Arabia, the United States, and Israel is likely to move ahead. Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, an Emirati political scientist, believes that if the right price is offered by the Americans, the Saudis will prioritize their national interest.
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