The Palestinian Islamic resistance movement, Hamas, has strongly censured the participation of an Israeli delegation in a forthcoming US-led maritime security meeting in Bahrain, in the latest significant sign of warming ties between a number of Persian Gulf littoral states and the Tel Aviv regime after years of clandestine relations.
Hamas spokesman Hazem Qasem said in a statement on Sunday that attempts to “integrate the Israeli Occupation into the region are doomed to fail.”
He blamed the parties that “normalize relations with Israel for Israeli assaults on the Palestinian people and their holy sites.”
أول تعقيب من حماس حول مشاركة وفد للاحتلال بمؤتمر أمني بالبحرين— فلسطين الآن (@paltimes2015) October 20, 2019
Israel's Channel 13 reported on Saturday that an Israeli delegation will attend the two-day summit in the Bahraini capital of Manama, which will run between October 21 and 22 and its main agenda is what its sponsors describe as “the Iranian threat in the Persian Gulf.”
The event will be a follow-up to the US-led anti-Iran conference held in the Polish capital of Warsaw in February.
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 so-called 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 opened in Bahrain on June 25 and ran through June 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 boycotted the meeting, leading critics to question the credibility of the event.