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Chanting ‘death to Israel’, Bahrainis rally ahead of Herzog visit

Dozens of people take part in a rally in Sitra Island, Bahrain, on December 2, 2022, against Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s upcoming visit to the Persian Gulf country. (Photo via Twitter)

People in Bahrain have taken to the streets in the tiny Persian Gulf island country to condemn normalization of relations with the Tel Aviv regime and express their outrage over Israeli president Isaac Herzog’s upcoming visit to the state.

The protesters chanted “death to Israel” on Friday at rallies called for by opposition groups and pro-democracy campaigners, and under the motto “Normalization is treason.”

The demonstrators reiterated that the Palestinian cause will remain their primary matter of concern, and that they reject all forms of normalization with the Tel Aviv regime.

Locals in the northwestern village of Diraz staged a rally as well to denounce Herzog’s arrival on Sunday, and condemned the Manama regime’ establishment of ties with Israel as a crime against Palestinians.

A similar rally was also held in the village of Sanabis, where participants slammed the Israeli president’s forthcoming visit to Bahrain, and voiced solidarity with political prisoners.

Elsewhere in Karrana village and Sitra Island, which lies 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) south of the capital Manama, locals decried Herzog’s “inauspicious” trip to Bahrain and normalization of relations with the Israeli regime.

Israel’s Channel 12 television channel reported on Thursday that the regime’s so-called security service, Shin Bet, had decided to boost Herzog’s security detail for the trip following an online social media campaign from Bahraini opposition activists.

Herzog is slated to take off for Bahrain on Sunday at the invitation of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah.

He is scheduled to meet with members of the local Jewish community and senior government officials, and will lead a group of Israeli business people to meet with the Bahrain Economic Development Board.

The next day, Herzog will head to the United Arab Emirates to meet with his Emirati counterpart Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is also the Abu Dhabi ruler and known colloquially as MBZ. Herzog will also attend the Abu Dhabi Space Debate.

Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates signed US-brokered normalization agreements with Israel in an event in Washington in September 2020. Sudan and Morocco followed suit later that year. Palestinians have condemned the deals as a treacherous “stab in the back.”

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