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Bahrainis protest against normalization with Israel, voice solidarity with political prisoners

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)
People participate in a rally in the village of al-Markh, Bahrain, on October 13, 2021 to protest against normalization of ties with Israel and the opening of the Tel Aviv regime’s embassy in the capital Manama. (Photo via Twitter)

Dozens of people in Bahrain have taken to the streets to protest normalization of ties with the Tel Aviv regime and inauguration of the Israeli embassy in the capital Manama.

Locals staged a rally late on Wednesday in the village of Sanabis, where they voiced their indignation about establishment of diplomatic relations with the occupying Israeli regime and the opening of its mission.

They demonstrators also called for immediate release of political prisoners, including Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, a prominent human rights defender and former president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), Hassan Mushaima, the head of the opposition group al-Haq, and Abdulwahab Hussain, an opposition leader.

Protesters rally in the village of Sanabis, Bahrain, on October 13, 2021 to voice solidarity with jailed political activists. (Photo via Twitter)

In al-Markh village, demonstrators condemned the Al Khalifah regime’s decision to normalize ties with Israel and reiterated their support for prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid arrived at Manama airport on September 30 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.

Lapid met later with his Bahraini counterpart Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, and the two sides signed deals on cooperation in medicine, healthcare, sports, and water and environmental conservation.

“We have officially opened the Israeli embassy in Bahrain,” the top Israeli diplomat later tweeted. “We agreed that by the end of the year, there will be the opening of the Bahraini embassy in Israel.”

More than 240 Bahraini scholars have strongly denounced Lapid’s visit by to the Persian Gulf kingdom. 

“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.

They added, “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.”

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 ex-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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