The Palestinian Hamas resistance movement has strongly censured Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifah for holding a public meeting with his Israeli counterpart, Israel Katz, in the United States, describing the meeting as “a betrayal” of the Palestinian cause.
“The intimate picture of the Bahraini foreign minister with his counterpart from the occupying regime (of Israel) reflects the involvement of some Arab regimes in Zionism,” Hamas Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri wrote in a post published on his official Twitter page on Friday.
الصورة الحميمية لوزيري خارجيتي البحرين والاحتلال تعكس حالة الصهينة التي وصل اليها بعض مسؤولي العرب ، هذه اللقاءات والصور خيانة للقدس وفلسطين ولن تفلح في تزييف وعي الأمه ودفعها للتخلي عن فلسطين والتطبيع مع الاحتلال— د. سامي أبو زهري (@DSZuhri) July 19, 2019
“Such meetings are a betrayal of al-Quds and Palestine, and will not succeed in falsifying the nation’s awareness and pushing it towards abandoning Palestine and normalization of ties with the Occupation,” he added.
Meanwhile, Bahrain’s main opposition group also condemned the encounter as “shameful” and “an unforgivable sin,” adding that the ruling regime in Manama “no longer has any legitimacy.”
ووصفت الوفاق اللقاء الأخير بين خالد بن أحمد وزير خارجية النظام مع وزير خارجية الكيان الصهيوني بالمخزي والمعيب وبالذنب الذي لا يُغتفر، وأن النظام بهذا السلوك لم تعد له أي شرعية او قبول شعبي وبات معزولاً ولا يشرف البحرين ولا البحرينيين.— Alwefaq Society (@ALWEFAQ) July 19, 2019
The al-Wefaq National Islamic Society said in a statement on Friday that Manama’s increasingly cozy relationship with Tel Aviv “does not honor” the Bahraini people and their views.
It also expressed regret that media outlets as well as some political, social and religious forces in Bahrain have lauded the Manama regime’s sins and defended them blindly.
Speaking in an interview with English-language The Times of Israel daily newspaper on the sidelines of the US-led economic workshop in Manama on June 26, the top Bahraini diplomat recognized Israel’s “right to existence,” saying the regime was “there to stay, of course.”
“Who did we offer peace to [with] the [Arab] Peace Initiative? We offered it to … Israel…. We want better relations with it, and we want peace with it,” Khalifah added.
He pointed to the Arab Peace Initiative as the blueprint for normalization of diplomatic relations with Israel, terming the Tel Aviv regime’s rejection of the plan as a “missed opportunity.”
The Arab Peace Initiative, proposed by Saudi Arabia in 2002, calls on Israel to agree to a two-state solution along the 1967 lines and a “just” solution to the Palestinian refugee issue. The initiative has been repeatedly endorsed by the Arab League in 2002, 2007, and 2017.
The Bahraini foreign minister further encouraged Israel to approach Arab leaders about issues of concern regarding the proposal.
“Come and talk to us. Talk to us about it. Say, guys, you have a good initiative, but we have one thing that worries us,” he said.
The so-called Peace to Prosperity workshop was held in Bahrain on June 25 and 26.
It apparently sought to advance the economic aspects of President Donald Trump’s controversial proposal for “peace” between the Israeli regime and Palestinians, dubbed “the deal of the century.”
The Palestinian leadership — along with supporters of the Palestinian cause — boycotted the meeting, leading critics to question the credibility of the event.