The demonstrators have voiced support for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for his rejection of President Trump's Mideast plan, which the Palestinians say unfairly favours Israel.

Palestinians take part in a protest against the United Arab Emirates' deal with Israel to normalise relations, in Gaza City, August 19, 2020.
Palestinians take part in a protest against the United Arab Emirates' deal with Israel to normalise relations, in Gaza City, August 19, 2020. (Reuters)

Hundreds of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have rallied against the US-brokered deal to normalise ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Protesters burned Israeli and American flags, trampled on posters of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump on Wednesday and chanted “normalisation is betrayal to Jerusalem and Palestine.”

Unlike Palestinian protesters last Friday near the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City who also burned posters of the Emirati crown prince, the Gaza demonstrators stopped short of burning symbols of the UAE, apparently not to antagonise the Gulf Arab country, where tens of thousands of Palestinians work and live.

The protest was organised by the Hamas group, which rules the Gaza Strip, and other factions.

Khalil al Hayya, a senior Hamas official, denounced the Israeli-Emirati deal.

“Normalisation with the occupation harms us and doesn’t serve us," he said. "Instead, it serves and promotes the occupation in its projects that target Palestine and the region.”

Invitation to Jerusalem

Israel's president invited the United Arab Emirates' de facto leader to visit Jerusalem, praising his role in achieving a "noble and courageous" deal to normalise relations between Israel and the UAE.

"In these fateful days, leadership is measured by its courage and ability to be groundbreaking and far-sighted," Israeli President Reuven Rivlin wrote in a letter to Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi.

"I have no doubt that future generations will appreciate the way you, the brave and wise leaders, have restarted the discourse on peace, trust, dialogue between peoples and religions, cooperation and a promising future," Rivlin wrote.

"On behalf of the people of Israel and (me) personally, I take this opportunity to extend an invitation to Your Highness to visit Israel and Jerusalem and be our honoured guest," Rivlin said in the letter, which his spokesman released publicly.

READ MORE: Israel expects to formalise ties with Bahrain and Oman after UAE deal

Deal of 'betrayal'

The Palestinians have called the deal a "betrayal" by an Arab country that they have long looked to for support in establishing a state in Gaza, East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank, lands Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

"I am hopeful," Rivlin's letter went on, "that this step will help build and strengthen the trust between us and the peoples of the region, a trust that will promote understanding between us all.

"Such trust, as demonstrated in the noble and courageous act, will set our region forward, bring economic well-being and provide prosperity and stability to the people of the Middle East as a whole."

Palestine Liberation Organization official Wassel Abu Youssef condemned Rivlin's invitation, saying "the visit of any Arab official to Jerusalem through the gate of normalisation is rejected."

Any such top-level Arab visit could be politically explosive given Jerusalem's internationally disputed status.

READ MORE: The prospect of deportation may silence Palestinians in UAE

US-brokered deal

Both countries announced on Thursday they would forge formal ties under a US-sponsored deal whose implementation could recast Middle East politics ranging from the Palestinian issue to dealing with Iran, the common foe of Israel and Gulf Arabs.

The deal drew anger and dismay in much of the Arab world and Iran but a quiet welcome in the Gulf.

Israel seized the eastern part of the city in 1967 and annexed it in a move that has not won world recognition. It considers all of Jerusalem its capital. Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of the state they seek.

READ MORE: Netanyahu: West Bank annexation still ‘on the table’

Source: TRTWorld and agencies