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Palestinians lash out at Israel-Bahrain normalization agreement

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)
US Vice President Mike Pence (L) and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner (R) applaud US President Donald Trump after announcement of the Bahrain-Israel normalization agreement on September 11, 2020, at the White House. (Photo by AFP)

Palestinians have roundly condemned the newly announced agreement on normalizing ties between Israel and Bahrain, saying it is yet another “stab in the back” of Palestine by another Arab country after the occupying regime reached a similar deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last month.

On Friday, US President Donald Trump tweeted that the tiny Persian Gulf state of Bahrain had agreed to join the UAE in striking what he called a peace agreement to normalize relations with Tel Aviv, hailing the deal as yet another “HISTORIC breakthrough.”

The White House said Trump had tweeted out the news after speaking by phone to Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The American president also attached to a separate tweet a joint statement, whereby the three had agreed on and expressed commitment to “the establishment of full diplomatic relations between Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain.”

Back on August 13, the UAE and Israel announced a US-brokered deal that laid the groundwork for the full normalization of their relations. The agreement 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.

Later on Friday, the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA), led by President Mahmoud Abbas, strongly denounced the Israel-Bahrain deal.

In a statement, carried by Palestine's official Wafa news agency, the PA strongly rejected the Israel-Bahrain deal and slammed it as a “token of support for legitimizing the ugly crimes of the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people.”

It also stressed that it viewed “this step as extremely dangerous, as it blows up the Arab Peace Initiative, the resolutions of the Arab and Islamic summits, and international legitimacy.”

The Palestinian leadership also strongly urged Manama to immediately break the agreement with the occupying regime since it would “gravely harm the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people and joint Arab action.”

The PA concluded that peace and stability in the region would only achieved by putting an end to the Israeli occupation of all Palestinian and Arab lands.

Separately, Ahmad Majdalani, the social affairs minister in the PA, lambasted the deal as “a stab in the back of the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people.”

On Friday evening, Palestine’s Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki announced that Palestine has decided to immediately summon its ambassador to Bahrain for consultations on the necessary steps in response to the Israel-Bahrain deal.

Abbas has already stressed that no peace would be achieved in the region by bypassing the Palestinian Arabs in favor of normalization of ties between the Arab states and the Israeli regime.

Additionally on Friday, Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), denounced the deal in a statement carried by Wafa news agency.

“The US administration has used all its political and economic might to extort, pressure, and bully Arab and other states to normalize Israeli colonization and trample on foundational principles of international law, including the tacit endorsement of the war crime of annexation,” she said.

Ashrawi also stressed that the path to real peace must be founded on mutual respect and adherence to international law.

Separately on Friday, the Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas, which is based in the besieged Gaza Strip, also denounced the Israel-Bahrain deal in a statement, saying that the agreement was an “aggression” that dealt “serious prejudice” to the Palestinian cause.

Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem also said that “this means that Bahrain is joining as a partner in the deal of the century, which is an attack on the Palestinian people.”

'Bahrainis unanimous in supporting Palestine' 

Bahrain's main opposition group, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, in a statement also condemned the deal as an “ultimate betrayal of Islam and Arabs and a departure from the Islamic, Arab and national consensus.”

It also said that the Israel-Bahrain agreement is void of any legitimacy whatsoever.

“Bahraini people, with all their religious, political, intellectual and societal differences, are unanimous in adhering to Palestine and rejecting the entire Zionist entity and standing with Palestine until the last piece of land is liberated from it.”

Al-Wefaq concluded that normalization with Israel is “a blatant contradiction to the will of the Bahraini people and a coup against their principled creed in rejecting the occupation of Palestine.”

Bahrain has agreed to formalize the deal with Israel at a ceremony on September 15 at the White House, where the UAE would also sign off on its own thaw with Tel Aviv.

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