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On 45th anniversary of the Palestinian Land Day, Bahrain Appoints Ambassador to Israel

On Tuesday, Bahrain announced the appointment of an ambassador to Israel, ignoring the Palestinian people’s revival of an important national opportunity, which is the 45th anniversary of Earth Day.

In a tweet, Israeli Foreign Ministry said that the Bahraini ambassador was Yousef Khaled Al-Jalahmah. Al-Jalahmah holds the position of Director of Operations at the Bahraini Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and previously worked as Deputy Ambassador in Washington.

The Bahraini king’s decision comes after a phone call between the Bahraini Foreign Minister, Abdul Latif Al-Zayani, and the Israeli Foreign Minister, Gabi Ashkenazi, on Sunday evening, who approved the appointment of the Bahraini ambassador.

Tweet translation: Israel in Arabic

Breaking… Bahrain appoints Khaled Youssef Al-Jalahma its first ambassador to Israel.
Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi to his Bahraini counterpart, Abd al-Latif Al-Zayani: ״ The decision of the Bahraini government to appoint an ambassador to Israel is another important step in implementing the peace agreement and strengthening relations between the two countries ״

According to Israeli media, a Bahraini delegation is scheduled to arrive in Israel in the coming weeks to start preparations for the opening of the embassy.Israel has not appointed an ambassador to Bahrain yet, but rather a Chargé d’Affairs, Itai Tagner.

Last January, he met with the Undersecretary of the Bahraini Ministry of Foreign Affairs for International Affairs, Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Khalifa. Tagner expressed Israel’s appreciation for what he described as “the wise and pioneering policy of the Kingdom of Bahrain, which contributes to enhancing the security and prosperity of the region.”

An official statement issued by the Bahrain News Agency said that a diplomatic delegation would be opened in a representation in Israel, and declined to use the word “embassy”. He was also reported to have been appointed “head of a diplomatic delegation” rather than an ambassador.

While the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicated that the official message it received from Bahrain explicitly states that what will be opened is an embassy and who occupies the position is an ambassador.

The announcement of the appointment of the Bahraini ambassador to Israel coincided on the day that the Palestinians commemorate “Land Day” each year, on March 30th.

The events of which date back to 1976, when the Israeli occupation authorities confiscated large swaths of Palestinian land, promting demonstrations that led to the death of six Palestinians and the wounding of dozens. This day represents an important opportunity for the governments and peoples of the world to declare their full solidarity with the Palestinians to ensure their legitimate rights from an oppressive occupation.

Last week, Bahrain set a precedent in the history of discussing the Palestinian file at the United Nations. It became the first Arab country that dared to deviate from the historical Arab consensus and did not vote in favor of a clause condemning the Israeli violations in the occupied territories. The clause, which was discussed in the Human Rights Council on Tuesday last week, was approved by a majority of 32 out of 47 countries.

Human rights organizations attacked the regime of Hamad bin Isa, due to Bahrain’s absence from voting in favor of the UN resolution condemning Israel’s violations in occupied Palestine. They regarded Bahrain’s absence from the Human Rights Council’s voting session as a direct contribution to serve Israel and encourage human rights violations.

The Bahrain Forum for Human Rights described what happened in the Council’s session a new approach to the Bahraini regime in providing human rights support to the Israeli occupation.

This means, according to a statement by the Forum, that in addition to its work in polishing grave violations in Manama, the Bahraini regime will allocate its diplomatic expertise in this field to serve the oppressive policies of Israel.

Earlier, the deputy in the Palestinian Legislative Council, Salem Salameh, said: “We were surprised by Bahrain did not support the central issue of Arab and Islamic nations.”

Salameh added that the Gulf state’s decision “is an indication of its compliance with the normalization treaties with the occupation state.”

He pointed out that Bahrain, after the normalization agreement it signed with Israel in September, “continues on the path of lethargy against the Palestinian cause.”

On the other hand, the Israeli media celebrated Bahrain’s decision to absent from the vote on the UN draft resolution condemning Israel.

The Jerusalem Post newspaper, which is close to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, described Bahrain’s decision as an “unusual step.”

In September 2020, Bahrain and the UAE signed two normalization agreements with Israel at the White House, under the auspices of US President Donald Trump.

The agreement sparked widespread anger in Bahrain. It was also rejected by the Palestinians, who assert that it is Bahrain’s betrayal of Jerusalem, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the Palestinian cause.

Soon after, the Palestinian Authority immediately summoned its ambassadors to Bahrain and the UAE, before returning them later.

Bahraini opponents accuse the country’s king, Hamad bin Isa, of falling into the arms of Israeli Zionists and strengthening their presence in the kingdom after losing popular legitimacy.

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