The Abraham Accords have stirred a contentious international debate over the UAE’s support for the national aspirations of the Palestinians. The Palestinian leadership views the UAE’s normalization of ties with Israel as a betrayal, the Israeli public regards it as proof of the issue’s marginal importance, and the Emirati leadership claims the move is designed to bolster the status of the Palestinians and advance the Israeli-Palestinian-Israeli peace process. This paper examines the UAE’s new policy on the Palestinian issue and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, based on developments in the initial months of the normalization with Israel, and points to potential opportunities. It also presents the shift in the role of the Palestinian issue in Israeli-UAE dynamics – from a bargaining chip to advance relations into a ticket for greater Emirati involvement in Israeli-Palestinian politics and influence in the Palestinian arena, despite the disruption of its ties with the Palestinian leadership.
**This report is part of an initiative funded by the UK Government, but the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the UK Government.