Hundreds of people have staged rallies across Bahrain in a clear display of public dissent in the Persian Gulf kingdom over the ruling Al Khalifah regime’s signing of a deal to establish formal diplomatic relations with Israel.
Dozens of people took to the streets in the capital Manama on Friday, hoisting banners and placards in condemnation of the agreement, the Arabic-language Lualua television network reported.
Banners were displayed reading “Normalization is mortifying” and “No to humiliation!". The demonstrators walked over the Israeli flag as well.
Similar demonstrations were also held in the villages of al-Markh, Nuwaidrat, Sanabis and Bu Quwah in addition to A'ali town, where participants expressed solidarity with the Palestinian nation, according to footage that has surfaced online.
Protestors trampled on the US flag and that of the Israeli regime in Bu Quwah and A'ali, before setting them on fire.
Bahraini regime forces reportedly broke out protests in the villages of Abu Saiba and Shakhura. There were no immediate reports of casualties.
At a ceremony in Manama on October 18, Bahraini and Israeli officials signed a joint communiqué establishing full diplomatic relations. The Manama and Tel Aviv regimes are now expected to open embassies.
The Israeli delegation, led by Israeli security adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, flew on an El Al Israel Airlines charter flight from Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, to Bahrain and was accompanied by US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin.
The meeting followed a September 15 ceremony at the White House where Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed US-brokered normalization deals with the Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani.
The normalization deals have drawn widespread condemnation from Palestinians, who seek an independent state in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital. They say the deals ignore their rights and do not serve the Palestinian cause.
Many Arab states say they remain committed to the so-called Arab Peace Initiative – which calls for Israel’s complete withdrawal from the Palestinian territories occupied after 1967 in exchange for peace and the full normalization of relations.
But speculation has been rife that some countries in the region would soon join the bandwagon to establish full diplomatic ties with Israel.