Iran and Hamas have condemned Israel’s participation in a US-led maritime security meeting which was held on Sunday in Bahrain, amid increasing normalization between the Jewish state and Gulf countries.
The head of the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s counter-terrorism department, Dana Benvenisti, attended the Maritime and Aviation Security Working Group in Manama, in a rare case of an Israeli official visiting Bahrain.
— RadioFarda (@RadioFarda_Eng) October 21, 2019
Bahrain and Israel do not have formal diplomatic relations, but Gulf Arab states and Israel are increasingly normalizing relations cooperating against a perceived threat from Iran.
The Manama conference is a follow-up to the February 2019 US-led Middle East Conference in Warsaw, which focused on Iranian influence and alleged sponsorship of terrorism in the region.
Palestinian resistance group Hamas has decried Israel's participation in a U.S.-led maritime security meeting in Bahrain.
Israel's Channel 13 reported that an Israeli delegation would attend the event, due to open in Manama on Sunday.https://t.co/nV1pziLYHn
— Abrar Khan (@khanabrar643) October 20, 2019
The US is trying to form a maritime coalition to secure sea trade routes after a series of attacks on tankers in the Gulf which were blamed on Iran.
Iran denies any involvement. An Iranian tanker was also hit by a missile strike in the Red Sea off the Saudi port of Jeddah earlier this month.
However, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi took issue with the participation of a “Zionist delegation” at the conference, saying,
“It’s unfortunate that a country which calls itself Islamic is normalizing relations with the Zionist entity [Israel]. Iran condemns this act.”
— Press TV (@PressTV) October 20, 2019
Hamas also condemned Israel’s participation, saying that “parties who normalize relations with the [Israeli] occupation” are responsible for Israeli acts of aggression against Palestinians.
Over 60 countries are participating in the maritime security conference. Iran was not invited.
(Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, PC, Social Media)