OCCUPIED-AL-QUDS: The agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates to normalise ties would kill the two-state solution, strengthen “extremists” and undermine the “possibility of peace”, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Sunday.

The fractured Palestinian leadership — from the Palestinian Authority led by in the occupied West Bank to Hamas Islamists in the Gaza Strip — was united in its opposition to the UAE-Israel deal announced on Thursday by US President Donald Trump.

“I really believe that this step is a killer to the two-state solution,” Erekat said. He argued that Israeli Prime Minister will have less incentive to compromise on a viable Palestinian state “if he believes that Arab countries will line up to make peace with him”.

In a conference call with foreign reporters, Erekat said that “people like Netanyahu and extremists in Israel believe that the two-state solution is off the table”. Meanwhile, “extremists on my side are (saying), ´we told you so from the beginning: the two state solution is off the table´,” he added.

Erekat condemned the agreement as a “desperate attempt” by Trump to notch a foreign policy success. He further dismissed senior White House advisor and Trump´s son-in-law Jared Kushner, an architect of the UAE-Israel pact, as displaying “a combination of arrogance and ignorance”.

Netanyahu said on Sunday that the agreement upended the notion that “no Arab state would agree to open peace with Israel, before the conflict with the Palestinians would be resolved”.

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