Bahrain's king claims Israel normalisation was reached in exchange for halting annexation

Bahrain's king claims Israel normalisation was reached in exchange for halting annexation
Bahrain's king said the normalisation deal with Israel was done in exchange for a halt to annexation, despite the Jewish state's claim to the contrary.
2 min read
25 September, 2020
Bahrain's King Hamad bin Issa Al-Khalifa said the normalisation deal sends a "civilised message" [Getty]
Bahrain's King Hamad bin Issa Al-Khalifa on Thursday stated the normalisation deal with Israel was reached in exchange for a halt to the Jewish State's plans to annex swathes of the occupied West Bank, adding the agreement is conducive to a two-state solution with the Palestinians.

Bahrain last week joined the United Arab Emirates in signing a US-brokered normalisation agreement with Israel, a move that drew opposition from across all the Palestinian factions.

In a pre-recorded video message at the virtual United Nations General Assembly, King Hamad said normalising ties with Israel sends a "civilised message".

"We consider this a cornerstone for achieving a just and comprehensive peace leading to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, based on the resolutions of international legitimacy and the Arab Peace Initiative,” he said.

King Hamad also praised the UAE's peace deal with Israel, which was announced last month, claiming the accord was reached in exchange for the Jewish state halting the annexation of roughly one third of the occupied West Bank.

However, Israel has said annexation plans were still on the table.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly backed plans to annex most Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territory, as well as the fertile and strategic Jordan Valley, which makes up around a third of the West Bank.

Israel already exhibits near-complete control over most of the territory as part of the Oslo Accords.

According to Israeli media outlets, the diplomatic accords signed by Israeli, Emirati and Bahraini officials in Washington, DC made no mention of the Jewish State's annexation plans, despite Abu Dhabi's claims to the contrary.

The Palestinians have condemned the US-brokered Gulf deals with Israel as "a stab in the back" for their aspirations to establish an independent state of their own.

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