- Title: Gazans living on Emirates-funded estate rue normalisation deal with Israel
- Date: 15th September 2020
- Summary: ZAYED CITY, GAZA (AUGUST 24, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS AT UAE-FUNDED CITY OF ZAYED, IN NORTHERN GAZA EXTERIOR OF MOSQUE SIGN READING (Arabic): 'THIS MOSQUE WAS BUILT AND FUNDED BY HIS HIGHNESS SHEIKH ZAYED BIN SULTAN AL- NAHYAN, PRESIDENT OF THE UAE IN 2004' EXTERIOR OF MOSQUE
- Embargoed: 29th September 2020 08:52
- Keywords: Gaza Israel Normalisation Palestinians U.S. UAE Zayed City
- Location: ZAYED CITY, GAZA / ABU DHABI, UAE / PARIS, FRANCE
- City: ZAYED CITY, GAZA / ABU DHABI, UAE / PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Middle East
- Reuters ID: LVA001CVSUN2F
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:For two decades, Palestinians have revered the founder of the United Arab Emirates for his generosity, especially those living on the Gaza housing estate that bears his name.
The $62 million development was gifted to the Palestinians a decade and a half ago by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who died in 2004, to provide homes for hundreds of families.
The estate changed the face of northern Gaza with its paved roads, 70 multi-floor residential buildings, gardens and a mosque, all adjoining Gaza's largest refugee camp, Jabalia.
But gratitude to the UAE's founding father has turned to anger at his son - Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, widely known as MbZ - after the Emirates' August 13 announcement that it would become the first Gulf Arab state to sign a "normalisation" deal with Israel. Bahrain followed suit a month later.
The anger across the estate is mirrored elsewhere in Hamas Islamist-run Gaza and in the West Bank, where Palestinians fear the UAE's move will weaken a long-standing pan-Arab call for Israeli withdrawal from occupied land and acceptance of Palestinian statehood in return for normal relations with Arab countries.
"How could his son do that? He should follow his father's example, not do the opposite," said Abdel-Rahman Tloly, 68, whose family was homeless for a year until they were housed in an apartment in Sheikh Zayed City in northern Gaza Strip.
"We have fought for the sake of Jerusalem for 70 years, and he came and in seconds he wasted it."
Seeing the Israeli and UAE flags flying together "burnt my heart," said Tloly, recalling how his home in Jabalia camp was bulldozed by Israel during the second Palestinian uprising that began in 2000 and ended some five years later.
Gaza, measuring just 360 square kilometres (139 square miles), has for years been blockaded by Israel and Egypt, who cite security concerns over its rulers, Hamas.
But despite the political and economic troubles faced by Palestinians in the narrow coastal strip, Tloly said he now wanted nothing more from the UAE, which is due to sign the normalisation deal with Israel at the White House this week.
"It would be like someone feeding you before he slaughters you," he said.
(Production: Stephen Farrell, Mohammed Shana, Abed Shana, Mustafa Abu Ganeyeh)
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