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Palestinians to UAE, Saudi, Bahrain: We are not hungry

Palestinian worshipers pray near the Dome of the Rock mosque in Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem al-Quds on the first Friday prayers of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on May 18, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Palestinians have launched a campaign with the hashtag “We are not hungry” on the social media, calling for the boycott of Iftar or the fast-breaking meals offered by the UAE at al-Aqsa mosque in protest at the policies of some Persian Gulf Arab states.

The United Arab Emirates offers Iftar meals to the worshipers at al-Aqsa mosque annually during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, but this year it was met with Palestinian rejection.

Palestinian activists in Jerusalem al-Quds attributed their rejection to the stance of some Persian Gulf Arab states, including the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, towards the Palestinian cause and their complicity with the Israeli regime, citing the participation of Bahraini and Emirati teams in the 101st Giro d'Italia cycling competition which kicked off in Israel.

Earlier this month, the Palestinian Olympic Committee (POC) said the participation of Bahrain and the UAE in the race is a “disgrace”.

The competition took place just kilometers away from the besieged Gaza Strip where Israeli forces killed scores of Palestinians during the "Great March of Return" protests, which began on March 30 and climaxed on May 15, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), when Israel was created.

Amnesty International UK had also condemned the launch of the race right next to East Jerusalem al-Quds where Palestinians regularly face house demolitions, illegal settlement building and restrictions of movement.

The entire Jerusalem al-Quds is currently under Israel’s control, while the regime also claims the city’s eastern part, which hosts the third holiest Muslim site.

The city has been designated as “occupied” under international law since the 1967 Arab War, which Palestinians want as the capital of their future state.

Arab states, especially those in the Persian Gulf, have traditionally been depicting themselves as Israel’s enemies and supporters of the Palestinian cause against Tel Aviv’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.

However, there have been numerous reports and public statements indicating covert ties between the Arab governments and Israel.

The Associated Press recently revealed that Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu met with the UAE and Bahraini ambassadors to the US in March, shedding further light on quiet ties between Tel Aviv and certain Arab states.

Netanyahu frequently boasts of growing, discreet cooperation with some Arab countries. Though he doesn’t identify them by name, they’ve long been believed to be Persian Gulf states such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

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