GAZA (AFP): The Islamist rulers of Gaza, Hamas, condemned Sudan on Friday for agreeing to move ahead with normalising ties with Israel, breaking with decades of support for Palestinian militant groups.
On Thursday, during the first visit to Khartoum by an Israeli foreign minister, the two governments agreed to move forward with the normalisation process agreed in January 2021.
Hamas condemned the move, which “contradicts the general Sudanese stance that is against the normalisation of ties with the Israeli occupation state and supports the just Palestinian cause”.
In a statement, it called “on the Sudanese leadership to backtrack on this decision that contradicts the interests of the brotherly people of Sudan and would only serve the Israeli occupation’s agenda.”
During the three-decade rule of Islamist general Omar al-Bashir, Sudan was one of the staunchest supporters of Hamas and other militant groups, but since his ouster following mass protests in April 2019, the policy has been dropped.
A spokesperson for Islamic Jihad, another Palestinian militant group, described the move as “a disgrace for an Arab country of the stature of Sudan”.
In 2020, Bahrain, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates all normalised their relations with Israel, breaking with longstanding Arab League policy that there should be no normalisation without a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
In January 2021, Sudan formally agreed to normalise relations with Israel in exchange for the United States removing it from its list of “state sponsors of terrorism”, but the ties were never formalised.