Bahrain to label illegal settlement products as Israeli

4th Dec 2020
Bahrain to label illegal settlement products as Israeli

JERUSALEM (AA): An Israeli journalist wrote Thursday on Twitter that Bahrain’s Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister said his country “will NOT distinguish between Israeli products made within the 1967 lines and those from settlements.”

Raphael Ahren, who works for the Times of Israel online news site quoted Zayed bin Rashid Al-Zayani who said Bahrain will have “no labels for goods from West Bank & Golan Heights.”

Ahren said the full interview with Al-Zayani was made for the site and will be later published.

“We will recognize them as Israeli products… I don’t see, frankly, a distinction which part or which city or which region it was manufactured or sourced from.” Ahren tweeted, citing the Bahraini minister who is on his first official visit to Israel.

Al-Zayani arrived Tuesday for a three-day visit in which he met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel’s Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi.

Bahrain has yet to comment on Al-Zayani’s controversial statement.

No other Arab nation has announced it would carry Israeli products manufactured in Israeli settlements as Israeli products because settlements are built on Palestinian occupied lands.

Most nations around the world, including the EU, do not recognize settlement products as Israeli and clearly label them as settlement products.

UN Security Council resolution 2334 adopted in December 2016 condemned Israel for illegal settlement policies in the occupied territories and considered them as illegal under international law.

However, the US State Department rejected that position last month by stating that it would label settlement products as Israeli made.

Bahrain became the fourth Arab country to form diplomatic relations with Israel, after Egypt in 1979, Jordan in 1994, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in August.

Recent US-brokered normalization deals signed by the UAE and Bahrain with Israel have drawn widespread condemnation from Palestinians, who say the agreements ignore their rights and do not serve their cause.

Meanwhile, Bahrain’s Industry, Commerce, and Tourism Minister said Thursday that his nation stands with Israel against an Iranian threat.

“We are on the same front with Israel for humanity and humanitarian values,” Zayed bin Rashid Al-Zayani told Israel’s Kan 11 TV channel.

Bahrain is working with “friendly countries” in different areas, including security, he said.

Israel and Bahrain signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Wednesday on tourism during Al-Zayani’s first-ever visit to Israel. He signed several agreements, including on aviation and the economy.

* Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

[Archive Photo: Foreign Minister of Bahrain Abdullatif bin Rashid AlZayani (R) and Israel’s National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat (L) sign a host of cooperation agreements as part of their normalization deal, in Manama, Bahrain on October 18, 2020. Photographer: US Embassy in Bahrain/AA]

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