Protests force Israel President Isaac Herzog to change Bahrain visit plans

Protests force Israel President Isaac Herzog to change Bahrain visit plans
Israeli President Isaac Herzog has changed his itinerary for his Bahrain visit due to demonstrations against his visit, according to reports.
2 min read
04 December, 2022
Bahrainis are demonstrating against Israeli President Isaac Herzog's visit to their country [Emmanuel Dunand/AFP via Getty]

Israel President Isaac Herzog has reportedly been forced to change the itinerary for his trip to Bahrain following protests by Bahrainis against his visit. 

Demonstrators have this week reportedly raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans condemning Israel’s occupation of the Palestinians, making known their disapproval of Herzog’s visit, which began Sunday.

Some protesters reportedly carried images of Herzog calling him a 'criminal', while others carried signs that said 'you’re not welcome in Bahrain'. Israeli officials claim the protests are being backed by Iran. 

Herzog's itinerary was changed at the last minute 'as a result of the protests', Haaretz reported - though the Israeli daily did not specify what changes were made.

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Herzog’s trip, which will make him the first Israeli head of state to visit Bahrain, will take place under strong security amid the protests, even though Manama has said they would not allow demonstrations during his sojourn.

Israeli media reported earlier this week that Israeli intelligence had decided to add to Herzog's security detail for the visit, in light of Bahraini opposition.

Herzog has met King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa during the visit, and will be accompanied by several prominent Israeli businessmen, who will participate in meetings to boost trade ties between the two countries. 

He will also meet officials from Bahrain’s Jewish community, before leaving for a visit to Abu Dhabi on Monday. 

Bahrain is one of several countries, including the UAE, Sudan and Morocco, to have agreed to normalise relations with Israel in a US-backed agreement in 2020 known as the Abraham Accords. 

Citizens of those countries, however, have made their displeasure known at the agreements in light of Israel’s continued oppression of the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza. 

At the World Cup in Bahrain's fellow Gulf state Qatar, Israeli journalists have been snubbed by fans from the Arab world and beyond, while Moroccans waved Palestinian flags as they celebrated their country’s historic progression to the Round of 16.


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Israel annexed and occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967, and built dozens of settlements on Palestinian land in a move deemed illegal under international law. 

Since March, the Israeli army has carried out near-daily deadly raids in the occupied West Bank. More than 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces so far in 2022, making it the deadliest year since 2006.