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Over 240 Bahraini Muslim scholars blast Israeli FM’s visit to Manama, reject 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)
Protesters dodge tear gas canisters on a street in Sitra, Bahrain on Oct. 1, 2021.

More than 240 Bahraini scholars have strongly denounced the first visit by Israel’s foreign minister to the Persian Gulf state since the two regimes established ties last year and expressed their solidarity with the Palestinians. 

“We denounce the presence of the foreign minister of the Zionist enemy in Bahrain, and renew our rejection of all forms of normalization with the usurping regime [of Israel], including the opening of an embassy and a trade office in Manama,” the scholars said in a joint statement published on Friday.

“We also reiterate our firm support for the Palestinian nation and every iota of the blessed Palestinian lands, which has been drenched in the blood of martyrs through years of resistance and steadfastness. The murderous invaders are now spilling the blood of Palestinians in al-Quds and Jenin.”

Yair Lapid arrived at Manama airport on Thursday to become the highest-ranking Israeli official to visit the Persian Gulf country since Israel and Bahrain forged formal relations last year.

He met King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah and Crown Prince and Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifah.

On Friday, a group of young Palestinian men converged outside the diplomatic mission and raised national Palestinian flags to condemn the Al Khalifah regime’s decision to normalize relations with Israel, and voiced their support for the Palestinian people.

Dozens of people took to the streets in Samaheej village on the northern coast of Muharraq Island, waving Palestinian and Bahraini flags.

Protesters staged similar rallies in the villages of Abu Saiba and Shakhura, where they carried banners in denunciation of the visit.

Bahraini protesters rally in Abu Saiba on October 1, 2021 to condemn a visit by Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid. (Photo via Twitter)

Elsewhere in Sitra Island, which lies 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) south of the capital Manama, Bahraini regime forces attacked demonstrators. 

The participants were chanting slogans against the inauguration of Israel’s embassy in Manama, when regime forces fired shots and tear gas canisters to disperse them.

‘A shame’

Canadian author and journalist Eric Walberg denounced normalization with Israel as a “shame”, saying Bahrain was among the first regions to embrace Islam, but the ruling regime is acting against the interests of the Muslim world and in favor of Israel. 

“It is just a very sad situation. I don’t see how this can contribute to any kind of the remotely peaceful settlement of the situation. It is just adding more fuel to the fire. There is going to be more protests and uprising in Bahrain followed by cruel suppression, and Israel is just waiting to start a war and leave the whole region in shambles,” Walberg told Press TV.

BDS movement calls for boycott of Expo 2020 Dubai

Separately, the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement called upon governments, companies, and artists to withdraw from Expo Dubai 2020, and demanded pressure on the United Arab Emirates to end its support for the apartheid Israeli regime.

The movement demanded that the Palestinian Authority clarify whether it is participating in the expo or not.

It also stressed that any Palestinian or Arab participation in Expo Dubai 2020, where the Israeli regime has a pavilion, would amount to encouraging more normalization agreements between reactionary Arab regimes and the Israeli regime.

Dubai opened its extravagant Expo 2020 on Thursday with a flashy ceremony boasting fireworks and lights displays. The domed al-Wasl Plaza, the centerpiece of the vast Expo site, was lit by spectacular projections as Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum declared the $7 billion event open.

Former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed agreements with Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani during an official ceremony hosted by former US president Donald Trump at the White House on September 15 last year.

Palestinians, who seek an independent state in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip with East al-Quds as its capital, view the deals as a betrayal of their cause.

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