At the recent intra-Palestinian meeting held in Ramallah and Beirut through video conference, the leaders of the different Palestinian factions – including Hamas and Fatah – expressed their frustration at the recent UAE-Israel normalization deal.

The different leaders, who have not met for nine years due to the division between Hamas and Fatah, found themselves more unified than ever because they all fiercely oppose Arab normalization with Israel and the Deal of the Century.

What really got my attention was that the Palestinian factions’ approach towards the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamist government in Turkey appears to be changing significantly.

Historically, Palestinian groups have disagreed on what was the proper relationship with Iran.

The Palestinian Authority’s position is this: Palestinians are not part of any regional coalition against any other Arab or Muslim state. Meanwhile, Hamas and Islamic Jihad never ceased to express their stands with Iran and its project in the Middle East publicly, justifying that by the position Iranian political and financial support, justifying this by saying Iran supports “the liberation of Palestine and Jerusalem.”

But is that changing?

Throughout the Ramallah-Beirut conference, all the Palestinian factions condemned the UAE’s recent move as “a betrayal and a stab in the back.”

President Mahmoud Abbas, who led the conference, stated that “no one has the right to speak on behalf of the Palestinians, no one,” and that “nobody stopped the annexation but the Palestiniain people,” disregarding the UAE’s claim that their peace agreement managed to persuade Israel to stop the intended annexation plan.

Clearly, some of the Palestinians leaders are dealing with the UAE as if it is a new enemy. Their hostility towards Abu Dhabi was striking.

For example, Moin Alhamed, leader of Alsa’ka – a faction of the Palestinian Liberation Organization – attacked the Gulf States, claiming that the labor of thousands of Palestinian workers deserve credit for building the Gulf States. He went further to encourage the Palestinian parties to use the Palestinian population in UAE and other Gulf states to push against normalization.

Also striking was the warmth and affinity various Palestinian faction leaders showed toward Iran.

Mouin, for example, stated that Iran is not the enemy, and that he is thankful for the “Iranian stands with the Palestinians.”

At the same conference, Ismail Haniyeh, the head of Hamas, slammed the UAE’s deal with Israel. He also said he regards this new US-Israeli-UAE coalition as a dangerous trend because of the coalition’s enmity to the Palestinian resistance.

Haniyeh expressed his longing to unite with his long-time political rival, Fatah (Abbas’s party), to combat this new conspiracy. He emphasized Hamas’ strategy of armed resistance as the way to liberate Palestine, among other techniques.

But Haniyeh went further by asking other Palestinians to join a regional alliance that supports the strategy of resistance and stands against normalization and the deal of the century — hinting at a much more robust and public political, financial and military alliance with Iran and Islamist Turkey.

One can only wonder: is it the new normal for the Palestinian leadership to tolerate attacks and hatred against the Arab Gulf States, while simultaneously praising the leaders of Iran for their support? 

Today, the Palestinian Authority leadership is in a bad place.

Their long-standing position of “no-Arab normalization with Israel” is failing.

The growing interest and ties between Israel and the Arab Sunni world is on the rise.

Rather than change course and pursue negotiations to actually achieve a viable two-state solution before it is too late, is the Palestinian leadership really going to pursue a full-scale alliance with the Iranian regime instead?

It is not clear yet.

But, as a Palestinian, I find it worrisome.

The fact that the Fatah leadership held a conference in which the Arab Gulf states are attacked, and the Iranian leadership is praised (by some participants, at least) is a warning sign.

The Palestinian leadership is desperate, frustrated and angry.

I am hoping that at such moments of desperation, they would not listen to Hamas’ advice of running to the arms of Tehran.

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