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BAHRAIN FOLLOWS UAE IN NORMALIZING TIES WITH ISRAEL

Bahrain joined the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in agreeing to normalize relations with Israel on Friday, a move forged partly through shared fears of Iran but one that could leave the Palestinians further isolated, Steve Holland, Dan Williams and Aziz El Yaakoubi reported for Reuters on September 12, 2020. 

“Opening direct dialogue and ties between these two dynamic societies and advanced economies will continue the positive transformation of the Middle East and increase stability, security, and prosperity in the region,” the United States, Bahrain and Israel said in a joint statement.


Palestinians were dismayed, fearing the moves by Bahrain and its fellow Gulf Arab state, the UAE, will weaken a longstanding pan-Arab position that calls for Israeli withdrawal from occupied territory and acceptance of Palestinian statehood in return for normal relations with Arab countries. A statement issued in the name of the Palestinian leadership condemned the agreement as a betrayal of the Palestinian cause. 


"The Palestinian leadership rejects this step taken by the Kingdom of Bahrain and calls on it to immediately retreat from it due to the great harm it causes to the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people and joint Arab action,” the statement said. The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said the Palestinian ambassador to Bahrain was called back for consultations. In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said Bahrain’s decision to normalize relations with Israel “represents a grave harm to the Palestinian cause, and it supports the occupation.” Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, a special adviser on international affairs for the speaker of Iran’s parliament, called Bahrain’s decision a great betrayal to the Islamic cause and Palestinians. “The imprudent leaders in UAE, #Bahrain must not pave the way for the Zionist schemes,” the official tweeted.



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