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Palestinians condemn Israel-Bahrain deal

RAMALLAH: Palestinian officials have condemned the normalisation of bilateral relations between Bahrain and Israel announced by US President Donald Trump.

The accord establishing diplomatic ties between Israel and Bahrain comes one month after the United Arab Emirates agreed to normalise ties with Israel under a US-brokered deal.

The White House said Trump called Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before announcing the deal. Following the announcement, Palestine recalled its ambassador to Bahrain for consultations.

Ahmad Majdalani, social affairs minister in the Palestinian Authority, told an international news agency the agreement was “a stab in the back of the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people”.

In the Gaza Strip, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said Bahrain’s decision to normalise relations with Israel “represents a grave harm to the Palestinian cause, and it supports the occupation”.

READ MORE: Donald Trump announces peace deal between Israel, Bahrain

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), based in Ramallah, occupied West Bank, called the normalisation “another treacherous stab to the Palestinian cause”.

Palestinians have expressed fear the moves by the UAE and Bahrain will weaken a long-standing pan-Arab position that calls for Israeli withdrawal from occupied territory and acceptance of Palestinian statehood in return for normal relations with Arab countries.

The US-brokered deal between Israel and the UAE is scheduled to be signed at a White House ceremony hosted by President Trump on September 15.

The Israel-UAE ceremony will be attended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan.

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