Bahrain says will prosecute social media activists condemning Israel normalization

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

Bahraini authorities have threatened those who criticize the US-brokered normalization deal with Israel on social media platforms, saying such activists will face prosecution.

The Bahraini Interior Ministry’s so-called General Directorate of Anti-Corruption and Economic and Electronic Crimes said in a statement on Monday that it was monitoring those social media accounts that are working to “defame” Bahrain concerning the peace agreement with Israel.

The ministry alleged that these accounts “spread sedition” and pose a threat to national peace and stability and are run by “fugitives” out of the Persian Gulf state.

It threatened “legal steps” against those who promote their messages.

On September 11, US President Donald Trump announced that Bahrain was following the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in normalizing ties with Israel.

Four days later, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed agreements with Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani during an official ceremony hosted by Trump at the White House.

Palestinians, who seek an independent state in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital, have condemned the deals as a betrayal of their cause against Israeli occupation.

The agreements have triggered a wave of anger among the public in Bahrain, where anti-Israel sentiment runs deep. Bahrainis have held several protests in recent weeks in condemnation of the agreement.

Bahrain’s main opposition group, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, has denounced 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.

Meanwhile, a number of Israeli media outlets have reported that the Tel Aviv regime has been operating an interests section in the Bahraini capital city of Manama for more than a decade.

The outlets said Israel had been running the mission in order to “strengthen economic and political measures in the region,” and that the Israeli foreign ministry was planning to establish an embassy in Bahrain.

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