Yesterday the United Arab Emirates agreed to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel, after signing a deal brokered by US President Donald Trump. In exchange, Israel has said it will pause plans to formally annex large swathes of illegally occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank. Netanyahu has already stated that this is a temporary delay, declaring in an address that “There is no change to my plan to extend sovereignty, our sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, in full coordination with the United States.”

The rapprochement makes public privately established military and economic relations between the UAE and Israel which date back to the 1990s. It does nothing to bring the realisation of the core collective rights of the Palestinian people closer. Instead, it gives formal UAE approval to Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people.

In reality, annexation of the West Bank has already happened. Israel already exercises de facto sovereignty over all occupied Palestinian land, in which it subjects the Palestinian people to a totalising matrix of control and domination. This will not end because of the deal. Nor will Israel’s policies of home demolition and eviction or its concomitant  aggressive expansion of illegal Jewish-only settlements on Palestinian land. Instead, these policies, violating international law and the basic principles of human rights, will now continue with the UAEs formal blessing.

The collective rights of the Palestinian people are not divisible. They cannot be sold, exchanged or traded by third parties. As Palestinian civil society has repeatedly called for, all states must use all diplomatic means to put pressure on Israel to comply fully with international law, and recognise and implement the full rights of the Palestinian people. It falls on human rights supporters worldwide to redouble their efforts to support the Palestinian people until freedom, justice and equality are realised.

PSC publicly calls on the UK Government and opposition parties to reject this deal, and sent this letter to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

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