More than 200,000 sign anti-normalisation 'Palestine Charter'

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More than 200,000 Arab social media users have signed the "Palestine Charter", a document rejecting the Arab states' normalisation of relations with Israel.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain's foreign ministers will sign an agreement with Israel at the White House on Tuesday, establishing full ties in violation of the Arab Peace Initiative.

The text of the charter states: "Believing in the justice of the Palestinian cause and following my responsibility towards it, I am honoured to sign the Palestine Charter, through which I affirm that Palestine is an occupied Arab state and its liberation is a duty.

"The Zionist entity is an occupying, racist and usurping entity of our Al-Aqsa Mosque and the land of Palestine, and normalisation with it in all its forms is a betrayal."

"I'm Alia from Saudi Arabia, and I am honoured to sign the Palestine Charter," one Twitter user said. "I invite you all to sign and share the link with your followers, family and loved ones."

The charter is endorsed by more than 20 pro-Palestinian organisations, including the BDS movement and the Gulf Coalition Against Normalisation. 

Many academics and media personalities, including Ebtehal al-Khatib, English literature professor at Kuwait University, and Jaber al-Harmi, former editor-in-chief of Al Sharq newspaper in Qatar, were among those who signed the charter.

The hashtag #Palestine_Charter in Arabic is also circulating on social media, condemning the United States-brokered normalisation deals undertaken by the UAE and Bahrain.

The Palestinian leadership has slammed the agreements as a "stab in the back" for the Palestinian cause, and have stressed upon the need to use the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative plan as a road map to normalising relations with Israel.

The plan, which was put forth by Saudi Arabia, calls for an end to the Israeli occupation and for its forces to withdraw to the 1967 borders, and a Palestinian state with occupied East Jerusalem as its capital - all in return for normalising relations.

However, while the plan was discussed in last week's Arab League session, the nations pressured a resolution put forth by the Palestinian leadership to remove a clause where it stated the UAE's normalisation with Israel must be condemned unequivocally.

Emirati dissident Humaid al-Nuaimi said on Twitter the governments of the UAE and Bahrain chose to sign deals with "Zionist shame".

"We ask God to grant us steadfastness as we sign this charter to affirm our support for the Palestinian cause," he said.

Source: The news first appeared on alJazeera, along with the cover photo, captioned as: Palestinians take part in a protest against the United Arab Emirates's deal with Israel to normalise relations, in Nablus in the occupied West Bank [File: Raneen Sawafta/Reuters]

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