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Hamas, Islamic Jihad strongly condemn Israeli president's Bahrain visit

Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa (L) receives a gift from Israeli President Isaac Herzog during the latter's visit to Manama on December 4, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

The Gaza Strip-based Palestinian resistance movements of Hamas and Islamic Jihad have condemned in the strongest term an ongoing visit to Bahrain by the Israeli regime's president.

Hamas official Basim Naim and Islamic Jihad spokesman Tariq Salmi expressed the condemnation on Sunday hours after Isaac Herzog became the first Israeli president to ever travel to the kingdom.

Bahrain signed a United States-brokered normalization agreement with the Israeli regime during an event hosted by the White House in September 2020. Ever since, the regimes in Manama and Tel Aviv have been trying to cement the so-called detente, which has been denounced by Palestinians and their regional and international supporters as a "stab in the back" of the Palestinian cause of liberation from Israeli occupation and aggression.

Naim called the visit "ignominious," and denounced Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah's bid to welcome "the head of an apartheid regime, who leads the [world's] biggest terrorist structure" as "pathetic," the Palestinian Shehab news agency reported.

He reminded that the Bahraini monarch was receiving the Israeli president as the Israeli regime's forces continued executing Palestinians across the occupied territories, saying as a result of the regime's deadly atrocities, the Palestinian youths' blood had started to flow like a "river."

The visit was also concomitant with Tel Aviv's ongoing violations against the Muslim world's sanctities, most importantly the al-Aqsa Mosque's compound -- Islam's third-holiest site, Naim added.

The Hamas official said by ingratiating itself to Tel Aviv, Manama was trying to impose its will on the Bahraini nation. This is while "rulers derive their legitimacy and [political] longevity from their nations' will" not from fraternizing the nations' enemies, he concluded.

The Islamic Jihad official, meanwhile, billed Herzog's trip as a measure aimed at deflecting attention from the Israeli regime's atrocities and acts of terror.

Salmi hailed the Bahraini nation for their protesting the trip, calling on all Muslim and Arab nations to raise their voices against whatever instance of normalization with the Israeli regime and confront Tel Aviv's efforts to make inroads into their respective countries.

Outgoing Israeli premier Yair Lapid, then the regime's top diplomat, visited Bahrain in September last year to open the Israeli embassy there.

In February of this year, Naftali Bennett became the first Israeli prime minister to visit the country.

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