Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets across Yemen to slam some of the country’s fellow Arab states’ attempts at normalization of relations with Israel.
The rallies took place in the capital, Sana’a, as well as in the western provinces of Sa’ada, al-Hudeydah, Ta’izz, and al-Jawf, among other places in the country, on Sunday, Yemen’s al-Masirah television network reported.
The demonstrators specifically criticized a recent United States-led conference held in the Polish capital of Warsaw, during which Arab leaders met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Many Arab observers also called the event — where Netanyahu and some Arab foreign ministers adopted a similar tone regarding the regional situation — a pre-planned stage for the normalization of Israeli-Arab ties.
Netanyahu’s office leaked a video of a closed-door meeting in which Persian Gulf Arab officials were seen playing down the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, defending Israel’s “right to defend itself,” and describing Iran as a “threat” to regional peace.
The Yemeni demonstrators chanted slogans against Israel and slammed Arab leaders as “traitors.”
They called the warming up of the Israeli and Arab regimes an act of treason against the Palestinian cause and vowed to stand by the Palestinian nation in its fight against the Israeli occupation.
The protesters were heeding a call by Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, the leader of Yemen’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement.
Calling for the rallies, al-Houthi had called the Warsaw conference “just a manifest of many steps taken against our Islamic Nation,” referring to the international Muslim community.
“The [Arab] traitors and their masters wanted our dear people to be puppets for Israel and the United States,” he said.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its allies launched a war on Yemen in 2015. The war has killed thousands of people and brought Yemen close to the brink of a countrywide famine.