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After Saudi, Bahrain next to open airspace to UAE-Israel flights

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A picture taken on August 31, 2020, shows an El Al airliner carrying a US-Israeli delegation to the UAE following a normalization accord between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv, as it lands on the tarmac at the Abu Dhabi airport. (Photo by AFP)

Bahrain opens its airspace to all United Arab Emirates flights en route to or from the Israeli-occupied territories, only a day after a similar move by Saudi Arabia and following visits to the island kingdom by senior US officials.

"Bahrain will allow all flights coming to and departing from the United Arab Emirates” to all destinations to cross its airspace, reported the official Bahrain News Agency, citing an official source at the Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications as saying on Thursday.

The official Saudi Press Agency had reported a similar decision on Wednesday, citing Saudi Arabia’s aviation authority.

The UAE and Israel announced a deal that laid the groundwork for the full normalization of their relations on August 13. The US-brokered agreement was met with uniform condemnation of all Palestinian factions, who called it a stab in the back of the Palestinians and sheer betrayal of their cause.

US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and White House advisor Jared Kushner had visited Bahrain on Tuesday, a week after US Secretary of State Pompeo traveled to the Persian Gulf island. Observers say the US is trying to seize on the momentum of the UAE's move.

Before the normalization move, the US’s main Arab allies in the region had already been accused of sitting on extensive covert political and commercial dealings with Tel Aviv.

In the case of Bahrain, a high-profile push towards détente came in 2017, when, according to Israeli media, a delegation arrived in the occupied territories with a message of “peace” from King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah.

Observers say after the UAE, the island is next in line to normalize ties with the occupying regime, saying the decision concerning the overflights is tantamount to the first instance of open cooperation between Manama and Tel Aviv.

Palestinian resistance groups, including Hamas that is based in the Tel Aviv-blockaded Gaza Strip, have, however, warned that the trend of Arab treachery of the Palestinian cause only serves to unite Palestinian factions.

Also on Thursday, all Palestinian factions’ leaders came together in a long-delayed plenum in the Lebanese capital Beirut. Hamas’ Political Bureau Chief Ismail Haniyeh addressed the gathering, asserting, “We have come together today to say that the Palestinian nation will stay united whether at home or abroad.”

Palestinians’ answer to the schemes implemented against them by the US, Israel, and the Arab regimes is all-inclusive resistance, he said, adding that Israel would remain an enemy and Palestinians would not give up even one inch of their land.

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