Israel's 75th anniversary event in Bahrain sparks backlash
The event was put on by the Israeli embassy at a hotel in the Gulf state and included food and entertainment. The Israeli embassy in Bahrain announced on its official Twitter page that it celebrated the "very special event" and reflected on the development of the Israeli-Bahraini relationship.
It shared a video showing Israeli and Bahraini officials standing as the Israeli anthem played.
Today we celebrated Israel's 75th 🇮🇱Independence Day with our partners and friends.— إسرائيل في البحرين | Israel in Bahrain (@IsraelinBahrain) May 31, 2023
The @AmbassadorNaeh and the embassy team were honored to host this very special event and reflect on the development of the Israeli-Bahraini relationship. pic.twitter.com/7x4AzeGsft
The Israeli ambassador, Eitan Na'eh, discussed relations between the two countries, including President Isaac Herzog's trip to Bahrain in December – the first ever by an Israeli head of state.
But many recall the establishment of Israel in 1948 as the Nakba ("catastrophe" in Arabic), a period during which more than 750,000 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed by Zionist forces.
Several Twitter users wrote "shame" in response to news of the Israeli event in Bahrain.
"Throwing Palestinians under the bus to provide aid and comfort to war criminals, outrageous!" said another.
Bahrain, the UAE and Morocco normalised ties with Israel in 2020 in a highly controversial deal viewed as a betrayal of the Palestinian cause.
Earlier this year, Sudan and Israel said they agreed to move towards normalising relations during the first official visit by an Israeli foreign minister to Khartoum.
Sudan in January 2021 formally agreed to normalise relations with Israel in a quid pro quo for the United States removing it from its list of "state sponsors of terrorism", but ties were never formalised.
Israeli forces and settlers have killed more than 160 Palestinians so far this year.
Agencies contributed to this report.