Bahrain allegedly backed away from plans to import products from illegal Jewish settlements, prompting anger from its new ally, according to reports.
The Gulf state’s statement was a swift response to its own minister of trade, who said Manama would be open to sourcing products made in illegal Israeli settlements located in occupied Palestinian territory.
Bahrain “will treat Israeli products as Israeli products … so we have no issue with labeling or origin”, Bahrain’s Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister Zayed bin Rashid al-Zayani said earlier this week.
— Sarah Wilkinson (@swilkinsonbc) December 6, 2020
But in a statement issued on Friday, Bahrain’s official state news agency BNA said the minister “was misinterpreted”.
“The ministry is committed to the Bahraini government’s unwavering stance regarding adherence to the resolutions of the United Nations,” BNA reported, quoting an official source from the ministry.
A similar statement was made by Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki after a phone call with his Bahraini counterpart.
“The alleged comments … totally contradicted his country’s [Bahrain] supportive position of the Palestinian cause,” a statement from al-Maliki’s office said, Al Jazeera reported.
Al-Zayani’s comments come after the US announced in November it would consider exports from much of the West Bank as “Made in Israel”.
— The Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) December 4, 2020
The country of Bahrain became the latest Arab nation to normalize ties with Israel, less than a month following a similar decision by the United Arab Emirates.
The Bahraini decision, which was announced by US President Donald Trump on Friday was made despite repeated assurances that Manama will not extend diplomatic ties with Israel until Palestinians obtain their rights in accordance with international law.
The Bahrain-Israel agreement came as another shock to Palestinians who still didn’t recover from the news of the UAE-Israel normalization.
(Palestine Chronicle, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, Social Media)