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Five Nations in Talks to Normalize Ties With Israel Soon, PA Minister Says

He said the five countries were Comoros, Djibouti, Mauritania, Oman and Sudan.
[additional-authors]
September 17, 2020
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 15: U.S. President Donald Trump and Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu participate in a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House on September 15, 2020 in Washington, DC. Netanyahu is in Washington to participate in the signing ceremony of the Abraham Accords. (Photo by Doug Mills/Pool/Getty Images)

Palestinian Authority Social Affairs Minister Ahmed Majdalani told the Israeli public broadcasting radio outlet Kan on Sept. 17 that five Arab and Muslim nations are in negotiations to normalize ties with Israel soon.

The Jerusalem Post’s Lahav Harkov reported that Majdalani named the five countries as Comoros, Djibouti, Mauritania, Oman and Sudan. Harkov noted that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office declined to comment on her inquiry on the matter.

Wall Street Journal Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Yaroslav Trofimov tweeted, “Israel used to have an embassy in Mauritania and a liaison office in Oman (where Netanyahu visited a year ago) … And the Comoros are very close to the UAE [United Arab Emirates].”

However, British researcher David Collier tweeted against “taking the comments of the PA at face value” in a tweet, arguing there’s likely “an important name (or two) deliberately left out.”

 

Harkov also tweeted that she heard that Indonesia is another country that could soon normalize ties with Israel.

 

President Donald Trump initially told reporters after the Sept. 15 signing ceremony of agreements between Israel and the UAE and Israel and Bahrain that five or six countries could be next to establish relations with Israel; later in the day, he increased the number to around seven or nine and listed Saudi Arabia as one of those countries. The Saudis have publicly stated that they will not normalize ties with Israel until a two-state solution is reached with the Palestinians.

Palestinians responded to the agreement with “days of rage” protests throughout the West Bank. A Fatah activist also told The Jerusalem Post on Sept. 15, “We are on the brink of a third intifada. The Palestinian people feel betrayed by the Arabs and will show the world that the Palestinian issue remains the central issue of all Arabs and Muslims.”

Majdalani told Kan, “The attitude that there can be peace with the Arabs without peace with the Palestinians is an illusion.”

Additionally, two rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip and into Israel during the signing ceremony; Israel’s Iron Dome defense system intercepted one rocket and the other landed in Ashdod, Israel’s largest port city, injuring 13 people. One man in his 60s is reportedly in serious condition after being hit by shrapnel.

“The normalization agreements between the UAE and Bahrain with the Zionist entity are not worth the ink with which they were written — and our people, with their insistence on the struggle until the full recovery of their rights, will deal with these agreements as if they were nonexistent,” a Hamas spokesperson said after the rockets were launched.

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