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Manama forces Bahraini organizations to back Israel normalization: Al-Wefaq

Palestinians burn images of the Bahraini king, the US president and the Israeli prime minister during a protest in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip on September 12, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

Bahrain's main Shia opposition group says “several Bahraini organizations, including sports and religious ones,” have received threats from the Manama regime to force them to voice their support for the normalization deal with Israel.

In a statement posted on its official Twitter account on Monday, al-Wefaq National Islamic Society added that a number of institutions even received threat calls from relevant parties in the regime to adopt a supportive stance on the matter.

“The Bahraini regime practices intimidation and threats to force some institutions to support its agreement with the Zionist entity,” al-Wefaq said, noting that Al Khalifah prevents people from holding rallies against the deal.

The group stressed that despite Manama’s desperate efforts to silence the opposition voices, there is a national consensus in rejecting the agreement.

On Friday, US President Donald Trump announced that the tiny Persian Gulf state of Bahrain had struck an agreement to normalize relations with Tel Aviv, hailing the deal as yet another “HISTORIC breakthrough.”

The agreement came roughly a month after Washington brokered yet another deal enabling a similar rapprochement between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the occupying regime.

The US-mediated agreements have so far been met with uniform condemnation from all Palestinian factions, who call it a stab in the back of the Palestinians and sheer betrayal of their cause.

According to al-Wefaq, some organizations and institutions inside Bahrain have already expressed dissatisfaction with this level of blackmail, oppression and intimidation to support the normalization agreement.

Some Bahraini lawmakers even issued a joint statement, expressing their utter surprise at the news of the condemned agreement, it added.

Al-Wefaq’s statement came just a day after Bahrain's most prominent Shia cleric Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim warned the Arab rulers, who had either undertaken the normalization or intended to do so, that the decision was both religiously forbidden and against the will of their respective nations.

On Friday, the opposition group condemned the deal as an “ultimate betrayal of Islam and Arabs and a departure from the Islamic, Arab and national consensus,” saying 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,” it added at the time.

According to al-Wefaq, 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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