In a joint statement, the United States, Bahrain, and Israel said that a normalization agreement has been reached, between the two Middle Eastern countries. The agreement was concluded after President Trump spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa on Friday.
This agreement comes on the heels of the one signed between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) just a month ago.
The U.A.E. welcomed the decision by Bahrain and Israel to establish relations, saying that it hoped it would have a positive effect on peace and cooperation in the region and around the world.
Trump hailed the deal as “a historic breakthrough.” “Now that the ice has been broken, I expect more Arab and Muslim countries will follow the United Arab Emirates’ lead.” President Trump said.
The agreement is significant because this is the first time Bahrain has formalized relations with Israel. This historic agreement to establish diplomatic ties could be a massive turn of events throughout the region and a significant step forward for both Israel and Bahrain: It further enhances the two countries’ security while creating opportunities for them to deepen their economic ties. According to the White House, the countries have committed to the exchange of embassies and ambassadors. They will also begin cooperation in a broad range of fields, including education, healthcare, trade, and security.
Israel is now working toward the opening of an Israeli embassy in Bahrain.
As more countries normalize relations with Israel, the region will become more stable, secure, and prosperous. Expanded business and financial ties between economies will accelerate growth and economic opportunity across the region. President Trump is credited for ultimately brokering the deal.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) condemned the Bahrain-Israel normalization deal as another betrayal by an Arab state. The agreement was “a stab in the back of the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people,” Ahmad Majdalani, social affairs minister in the occupied West Bank-based PA, told AFP.
The Palestinian authority had likewise denounced the U.A.E.-Israel deal that announced last month.
“The Palestine Liberation Organization and the State of Palestine are no longer committed to all signed agreements and understandings with the Israeli government and the American government, including the security commitments,” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had said in late May 2020. He had added that Israel would now have to “uphold responsibilities before the international community as the occupying power.” He also announced that the Palestinians would step up their campaign to join international organizations as a member state, in defiance of the U.S.
Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, said that the deal was an “aggression” that dealt “serious prejudice” to the Palestinian cause. Gaza is a self-governing Palestinian territory that borders Egypt and Israel. The sovereign State of Palestine claims Gaza and the West Bank. As Israel continues to gather support from more nations across the Middle East, tensions with Palestine will continue to grow.
A Gaza focused reporter expressed his indignation by writing,
“for my family, and the people of Gaza, August has been horrific. Israel bombed the Strip on an almost daily basis, making us feel like we were stuck at the epicenter of a never-ending earthquake. The explosions, at times barely a kilometer from our home, were so loud, my two-year-old niece could not sleep at night. Every time she heard a loud bang, she quickly gathered her toys around her as if to protect them from Israel’s bombs. Last month was indeed horrific, but it was not extraordinary in any way. Israel’s soldiers, warplanes, drones, and gunships have been harassing, intimidating, and killing the people of Gaza regularly and with impunity for decades.”
There is no mistaking the deep level of hate the two countries have for each other or how contested the Gaza Strip is.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry strongly condemned Bahrain’s decision to establish diplomatic ties with Israel, adding it will deal a fresh blow to efforts to defend the Palestinian cause. “It will further encourage Israel to continue illegitimate practices towards Palestine and its efforts to make the occupation of Palestinian lands permanent,” the Turkish ministry’s statement read.
Iran was also not pleased with the agreement. Its foreign ministry stated on Saturday that “the rulers of Bahrain will from now on be partners to the crimes of the Zionist regime as a constant threat to the security of the region and the world of Islam.”
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said that he appreciated the “important step” Israel and Bahrain had taken in agreeing to establish diplomatic relations. The agreement would help establish “stability and peace in the Middle East, in a way that achieves a just and permanent settlement of the Palestinian issue,” el-Sisi wrote on Twitter.
In recognition of his efforts to help broker the deal, President Trump was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Additionally, Trump received a second nomination by Magnus Jacobsson, a member of the Swedish Parliament, who announced Friday that he was nominating the Trump administration along with Serbia and Kosovo “for their joint work for peace and economic development, through the cooperation agreement signed in the White House.”
The prize recipient is determined by a five-person Nobel Committee that is appointed by the Norwegian Parliament. The winner of the Peace Prize for 2021 will not be announced by October of next year.
In less than four years, President Trump, assisted by his advisors, has reworked the alliances and conflicts of the Middle East. While the far left may hate Trump, the normalization deals of Bahrain and the U.A.E. with Israel are undeniably an extraordinary triumph for his administration.
The White House published that the United States will continue to stand with the people of the region as they work to build a brighter, more hopeful future.