Bahrain Parliament pressing to reverse normalisation with Israel

Palestinian photographer Ibrahim Nofal who was so passionate in taking happy pictures at weddings, now seriously injured in a hospital in Gaza

THE DEPUTY speaker of Bahrain’s National Assembly Abdulnabi Salman said on Tuesday that members of the parliament are pressing to reverse the normalisation of relations between the country and Israel following the occupying regime’s devastating war in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Salman said that Bahraini lawmakers were demanding an end to diplomatic relations with Israel, three years after the Manama regime signed the US-brokered Abraham Accords.

Salman said: ‘The demands of the Bahraini MPs are a reflection of the aspirations of the (Bahraini) people.

‘The most important demand is represented by the full cancelation of normalisation and cutting all ties, which would mean the cancelation of the Abraham Accords.’

‘Ultimately, any decision on Bahrain-Israel ties is taken by Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah and his government.’

Bahrain’s lower house of parliament announced last week that the country had halted its economic relations with Israel amid its brutal onslaught against Palestinians in Gaza.

Bahrain also recalled its ambassador to the occupied territories and flights between Manama and Tel Aviv were suspended.

At least eight countries, including Turkey and Jordan, South Africa and Colombia have pulled their ambassadors from Israel since it launched the war in Gaza.

The death toll from Israel’s brutal aggression on the Gaza Strip surpassed 10,000 on Monday; one month after the occupying regime launched the war on the besieged area on October 7 when Palestinian resistance groups waged the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Israeli regime’s decades-long atrocities against Palestinians.

The regime has also cut off one of the most densely-populated places in the world from basic supplies, such as water, electricity, and fuel. Shortage of medical supplies and food has left 2.3 million Palestinians at risk of starvation.

Back in 2021, Bahrain’s main opposition group, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, denounced Manama’s normalisation of relations with Israel as ‘a crime,’ and said that the ruling Al Khalifah regime’s policies did not conform to the will of the Bahraini nation.

The country has witnessed numerous protests ever since the deal.

Meanwhile, the Barcelona port dockers union has refused to load and unload any military material amid the war in Gaza and urged the protection of civilian populations in areas of conflict, following a similar move by Belgian transport unions last week.

The decision on Monday also seeks to encourage other Spanish ports to follow suit, the secretary of the OEPB union, Josep Maria Deop said on Tuesday.

The OEPB is the only union representing the 1,200 dockers at Barcelona’s port.

Deop said organisations promoting peace could help the union figure out which containers contain military equipment. He said he was convinced there were military shipments from Barcelona because ‘it’s a port that moves all types of goods’.

It wasn’t clear what those organisations were and whether they had agreed to help the union in these efforts.

Meanwhile, hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters calling for a ceasefire in Gaza blocked traffic on Monday at the Port of Tacoma in Washington state, where a military supply ship had recently arrived.

Organisers said they opposed Israel’s war on Gaza and targeted the vessel – the Cape Orlando – based on information that it was to be loaded with weapons bound for Israel.

In an emailed statement, Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Bryon J. McGarry, a spokesman for the Department of Defence, confirmed that the vessel is under the control of the US Navy’s Military Sealift Command and is supporting the movement of US military cargo.

McGarry said: ‘Due to operations security, DoD does not provide transit or movement details or information regarding the cargo embarked on vessels of this kind.

The Cape Orlando drew similar protests in Oakland, California, where it docked last Friday before it sailed to Tacoma. Over 300 protesters delayed its departure, and the US Coast Guard arrested three people who climbed onto the ship.

Protesters carried signs reading ‘No Aid For Israel’ and ‘Free All Palestinian Prisoners.’

The protesters’ goal was to block the Cape Orlando from being loaded, said Wassim Hage, of the San Francisco-based Arab Resource and Organising Centre.

Hage said: ‘It speaks to the historic moment where people are coming out to say, ‘No. No funding for genocide, no US bombs for bombing hospitals and killing children in Gaza.’

In Gaza, Another Palestinian journalist was killed in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza as the Tel Aviv regime’s aggression on the besieged strip entered its 32nd day.

Yehya Abu Manie was killed in an Israeli bombardment of Gaza City, bringing to 48 the number of journalists killed since the start of the Israeli aggression last month.

Israeli warplanes also bombed the area surrounding the Indonesian Hospital in northern Gaza on Tuesday morning, while an Israeli drone fired a missile at the municipality building.

The government media office in Gaza said Israel conducted more than 250 fatal airstrikes on Gaza on Monday night and in the early hours of Tuesday.

Several airstrikes targeted residential buildings in the southern city of Khan Yunis, killing at least 27 people and injuring dozens of others.

Seven Palestinians were killed in an attack on a residential building in the Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza, while 27 were killed in attacks on houses in Rafah.

An unspecified number of casualties was also reported in an Israeli strike on Kamal Adwan Hospital in the city of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza.

Several hospitals in Gaza City have become refuges for Palestinians hoping to be spared from Israeli bombardments, which began early in October.

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has urged the United Nations secretary-general to form an international committee to visit hospitals in the besieged strip to counter Israel’s ‘false’ claims that they are used as launch pad for anti-Israel operations.

Hamas noted that the claims are aimed to ‘justify’ Israel’s attacks on hospitals in Gaza.

According to the Gaza-based health ministry, at least 10,022 Palestinians have been killed in the strikes, 70 per cent of whom are women and children.

Israeli warplanes fired several missiles at residential buildings in the centre of Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, destroying them and killing and wounding dozens of people, mainly children, women and the elderly, according to witnesses.

The fate of many others remains unclear as they were buried under the rubble, they said.