GAZA, Palestine (AA) – The Palestinian resistance group Hamas said Wednesday that the normalization of ties between Israel and Sudan would not benefit the region.
Hamas spokesman Hazim Qasim said comments by Sudan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman about Sudan’s endeavour to establish formal relations with Israel are in contradiction with the Sudanese people’s stance, which acknowledges Israel as an enemy.
Hamas spokesperson: Normalization with Israel is betrayal
“The normalization way encourages Israel to continue its aggression against the Palestinian people and to increase its crimes,” Qasim told Anadolu Agency.
Calling for the closure of the path to normalization, he said the normalization would benefit the expansionist Zionist project and not the people in the region.
“I cannot deny that there are contacts between Sudan and Israel,” Sudan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Haydar Badawi Sadig told Reuters on Tuesday.
Praising the normalization deal between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel, Sadig said: “the Emirates’ move is a brave and bold step and contributes to putting the Arab world on the right track to build peace in the region and to build sustainable peace.”
Sudan’s Foreign Ministry later issued a statement saying it had learned of Sadig’s remarks “with astonishment.”
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Sudan confirms that the issue of relations with Israel was not discussed in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in any way, and Ambassador Haydar Badawi was not assigned to make any statements in this regard.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed Sadig’s remarks on seeking a peace deal with Israel.
“Israel, Sudan and the region will all benefit from a peace deal and will be able to build a better future together for all nations of the region,” Netanyahu said Tuesday in a statement.
US President Donald Trump announced a deal last week between Israel and the UAE to normalize relations.
The UAE is the first Gulf state and third Arab nation to have full diplomatic relations with Israel after Egypt and Jordan.
Despite reports that the deal halted Israel’s controversial plan to annex parts of the West Bank, Netanyahu confirmed his government’s continued commitment to go ahead with annexation plans.
Palestinian groups denounced the deal, saying it does nothing to serve the Palestinian cause and ignores the rights of Palestinians.
Hundreds of Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip rallied against a United States-brokered between Israel and the United Arab Emirates to normalise ties.
Protesters on Wednesday burned Israeli and US flags trampled on posters of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump, and chanted “normalisation is a betrayal to Jerusalem and Palestine”.
The demonstrators in Gaza City also voiced support for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for his rejection of President Trump’s Middle East plan, which the Palestinians say unfairly favours Israel.
The protest was organised by the Hamas movement, which rules the Gaza Strip, and other factions.
Khalil al-Hayya, a senior Hamas official, denounced the deal and said: “Normalisation with the occupation harms us and doesn’t serve us. Instead, it serves and promotes the occupation in its projects that target Palestine and the region.”
The protests come as Israeli fighter jets bombed the enclave for the eighth consecutive night. Israel warned Hamas it was risking “war” by failing to stop incendiary balloons being launched across the fence with Israel.
Hamas security sources said Israeli fighter jets and drones struck several facilities that belong to the Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the movement.
Crimpling punishments for Palestinians
Last week, Israel banned fuel imports into Gaza as part of punitive measures over the launch of incendiary balloons from the Strip.
Israel also banned fishing off Gaza’s coast and closed the Karam Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) goods crossing – cutting off deliveries of fuel to the territory’s sole power plant which was forced to shut down on Tuesday.
Gaza homes and businesses rely on generators to make up for the lengthy power cuts, increasing the financial pressure on its largely impoverished people.
Power had been in short supply even before the shutdown, with consumers having access to electricity for only eight hours a day at best. That will now be just four hours a day using power supplied from the Israeli grid.
Despite a truce, last year – backed by Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations – tensions between Hamas and Israel rise sporadically.
Hamas says Israel did not honour previous understandings which stipulated that Israel ease the blockade it has imposed on Gaza since the group’s takeover and allow for large-scale projects to help rescue the collapsing economy.
Gaza, home to more than two million people, has been under a crippling Israeli and Egyptian-imposed blockade for 12 years that has severely restricted the movement of Palestinians.
Although Israel withdrew its troops and settlers from the Strip in 2005, it has maintained its control over Gaza’s airspace, territorial waters and land borders.
The siege has devastated the local economy, severely restricting the entry of food and access to basic services. It has also stopped the flow of construction materials needed to rebuild much of the enclave’s infrastructure, which was damaged in the previous Israeli military campaigns of 2008, 2012 and 2014.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk