UAE joins Israel, US in demanding Palestinian reforms

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
5 Min Read

The United Arab Emirates is emerging as a staunch critic of the Palestinian Authority at the annual Arab League summit in Bahrain, backing a key budget unless it makes sweeping changes such as stopping payments to Ramallah militants and ending incitement. Is refusing to do.

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A high-level Arab diplomat told Israel's press service, “In this way, the Emirate is aligning itself with the US position that strives for a new Palestinian Authority.”

Behind the scenes, tensions have risen as the Emirates blocked a proposed deal to allocate US$100 million monthly to the PA, citing concerns about corruption and ineffective leadership. The Emiratis also demanded PA financial transparency and measures to prevent corruption in the PA, which angered the Palestinian delegation.

“The Emirates practically gave up the initiative to budget for any material to the Palestinian Authority,” the diplomatic source told TPS-IL. “No one should be surprised by the emirate’s refusal to hand over the budget to a corrupt authority.”

The UAE's stance challenging the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas has been supported by Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant, who will recognize PA authority in Gaza after the war. However, the PA continues to boycott the US and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken following the US veto of a UN security resolution that would have granted the Palestinians full UN membership.

“The Emirates have decided to openly align themselves with the Biden administration, which reiterates and claims that only a new and reformed Palestinian Authority can be a partner in the eyes of the Americans, the day after the war in the Gaza Strip,” the source said. It is possible.” Said. It is possible.” TPS-IL.

“The Emiratis have decided to teach the Palestinian Authority a lesson, and they are demanding from it a long series of reforms that will turn it into a completely separate entity from the Palestinian Authority. Only when the Palestinian Authority ceases to be Palestinian will it be kosher in the eyes of the Emirates,” he joked.

The UAE is supporting Abbas's rival Muhammad Dahlan. In conversations with several Arab sources Dahlan's name comes up repeatedly as the person who would gain their support in managing Gaza after the war.

Dahlan, once a high-ranking figure in Fatah, was the PA's “strong man” in Gaza when Hamas violently took control of the strip in 2007. But as Dahlan again gained influence within Fatah, he fell out with Abbas and was ousted. Team. in 2011. He was later tried in absentia in Ramallah on corruption charges, which Dahlan denies.

TPS-IL learned that during a recent conference of Arab diplomats over Zoom in April, participants voiced opposition to Abbas's regime. Palestinians have not held national elections since 2005 and Abbas is now in the 19th year of a four-year term. Since then, Abbas has canceled several elections amid Fatah-Hamas disagreements, most recently in 2021.

The US is pressuring Abbas to reform the PA to take responsibility for governance and reconstruction of Gaza.

Reforms include reducing the PA's bloated and inefficient bureaucracy, replacing diplomats representing the PA abroad, and introducing an internal self-investigation mechanism within Palestinian preventive security.

Ramallah is expected to, among other things, meet US demands for a Palestinian technocratic government that includes “softcore” Hamas members and indirect “kill-for-kill” funding.

However, no one in Ramallah believes Abbas will pursue reforms. A March poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that 81 percent of Palestinians polled in Judea, Samaria and Gaza were dissatisfied with Abbas's leadership and 84 percent said they wanted him to resign.

Palestinians have not held national elections since 2005 and Abbas is now in the 19th year of a four-year term. Since then, Abbas has canceled several elections amid Fatah-Hamas disagreements, most recently in 2021.

On October 7, Hamas attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border killed at least 1,200 people and took 240 Israelis and foreigners hostage. Of the 132 remaining hostages, about 30 are believed dead.

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