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Have Saudi Arabia, UAE asked Palestine’s Mahmoud Abbas to resign?

Claim includes alleged threat by Saudi Arabia, UAE to stop aid to Palestine

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Claim: Saudi Arabia and the UAE have told Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas to resign and dissolve the current government so that they can appoint a Saudi- and UAE-approved regime in its place; if Abbas does not agree, the two states would halt future financial aid to the Palestinian territories.

Fact: Since no reputable outlet has reported such a development, the claim appears to be false.

On 25 December 2023, X (formerly Twitter) account @sentdefender posted (archive) a picture of the president of the State of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, along with the following caption:

“Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have reportedly told the President of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas that he must Resign as President and Dissolve the current Government in order to Appoint a Saudi and UAE-Approved Government, or else they will Halt all further Financial Aid to the Palestinian Territories.”

What’s going on in Gaza?

On 7 October 2023, the Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades — the military wing of Hamas, the Islamist group that rules Gaza — launched (archive) a “surprise attack” on Israel via sea, land, and air. In response, the Israeli government formally declared (archive) war on Hamas on 8 October 2023.

According to a 19 December 2023 update by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), more than 19,600 Palestinians have been killed and over 52,500 injured since the 7 October attack. Similarly, at least 1,200 Israelis have been killed and upwards of 5,400 injured.

Ever since the 7 October attack, a flood of misleading, old, and out of context pictures, videos, and claims have surfaced in the media.

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check looked for reports on the said claim by authentic and reputable media outlets but did not find any.

We came across a similar report by the breaking news website, BNN Breaking (archive), but it contains no verifiable sources to support the claim.

We also searched for an official statement or comment on the matter on the social media accounts of the governments of Saudi Arabia and the UAE but found none.

In fact, the Saudi Foreign Ministry posted (archive) a statement in support of a ceasefire, hoping that the 22 December adoption of the United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC) Resolution No. 2720 “constitutes a step in the right direction to achieve a comprehensive cessation of military operations and protect civilians in Gaza”.

Virality

The post by @sentdefender has been viewed over 2.9 million times as of writing time.

Soch Fact Check came across the same claim on X made here and on Instagram here and here.

The claim can also be found on the following websites here and here.

Conclusion: No reputable outlet has reported that Saudi Arabia and the UAE have told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to resign. In addition to a lack of credible sources, there are no official statements from the governments of Saudi Arabia and the UAE supporting the claim either. Therefore we conclude that the claim is false.


Background image in cover photo: Ruletkka


To appeal against our fact-check, please send an email to appeals@sochfactcheck.com

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