Palestinians feel abandoned after UAE-Israel deal

By August 24, 2020

Palestine (MNN) — On August 13, Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed a peace deal normalizing relations between the two countries. The UAE is the third Arab country to form this kind of relationship with Israel, along with Egypt and Jordan.

The deal opens diplomatic relations, direct flights, commerce, and tourism between the two countries. As part of the agreement, Israel agreed to halt plans to annex more of the West Bank from Palestinians.

To Palestinians, though, this deal feels like a betrayal. Israeli jets continue to bomb Palestinian territory, and much of the annexation that is taking place is not exactly official.

Scenes from Bethlehem, empty during COVID-19 lockdown. (photo courtesy of Bethlehem Bible College on Facebook)

Jack Sara, President of Bethlehem Bible College says, “I think the UAE is kind of whitewashing in front of the other Arab nations so that they would not see it as a betrayal. I don’t think the Israeli leadership is going to lay down or lay aside the whole plan for annexation.”

Palestinians on their own

Sara says this deal isn’t really a surprise, as Israel and the UAE already had good relations. He predicts more Arab countries will make similar deals with Israel in the near future. “But it’s still frustrating to see that some Arab nations are lifting their hands from helping the Palestinians in achieving their just cause, which is really peace in the country, having their own freedom, dignity, and freedom of movement.”

So what’s next for Palestine? Sara says, “How can we decide for ourselves and move forward, building peace and at the same time seeking justice for our nation? We need prayers for the Palestinian leadership. I think they’re frustrated. They have a lot of kinds of things on their table, including the financial crises. The coronavirus hit hard on the Palestinian economy.”

Christians in Palestine

Pray for the tiny church in Palestine, which makes up less than 1.5% of the population. Sara says, “We need wisdom for the Christians in general. And for the believers in particular. We want to be a clear light for the Gospel and for Christ.”

COVID-19 hit Bethlehem hard, especially in the lack of tourism. You can donate to Bethlehem Bible College here.



The header image shows Jerusalem. (Photo courtesy of Bethlehem Bible College on Facebook)

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