Bahrain, Jordan expel Israeli ambassadors

Bahrain has recalled its ambassador to Israel and suspended economic ties with the country, according to a statement by Bahrain’s lower house of parliament.

“The House of Representatives confirms that the Israeli ambassador to the kingdom of Bahrain has left Bahrain, and the kingdom of Bahrain decided to recall the Bahraini ambassador from Israel to the country. Economic relations with Israel have also been halted,” the parliament statement said.

It added: “The parliament affirms that the continuation of war and military operations, and the continuing Israeli escalation in light of the lack of respect for international humanitarian law, prompts it to demand more decisions and measures that preserve the lives of innocent people and civilians in Gaza and all Palestinian areas.”

Bahrain formally established ties with Israel in 2020 as part of the Abraham Accords and their relationship has been warm at all levels.

But Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani in a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday in Ramallah conveyed a message of “solidarity and support.” He called on Israel to implement an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

For its part, Israel said that it did not receive any “announcement or decision from the Bahraini government to recall the countries’ ambassadors.”

“Israel-Bahrain relations are stable,” said the Foreign Ministry in an official statement.

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The announcement comes a day after Jordan recalled its ambassador from Israel in protest of the ongoing Israeli war on the besieged Gaza Strip.

Foreign Minister Arman Safadi also notified the Israeli Foreign Ministry that it will not let the Israeli ambassador return to Amman. The envoy had left the kingdom at the start of the Gaza war due to security precautions.

“The return of the ambassador will be linked to halting Israel’s war on Gaza and ending the humanitarian catastrophe caused by the Israeli measures that deprive the Palestinians of their right to food, water, medicine, and their right to live … on their land,” Safadi said in a statement.

“This war kills innocent people, causes an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe, and risks an expansion (of the conflict), which will threaten the security of the entire region and international security and peace,” he added.

Jordan has held a fragile peace agreement with Tel Aviv since 1994, which returned some 380 kilometres (236 miles) of Jordan’s occupied land from Israeli control and resolved longstanding water disputes.

The Israeli army has expanded its air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip, which has been under relentless airstrikes since the surprise attack by Hamas on Oct. 7.

More than 10,300 people have since been killed in the conflict, including at least 8,796 Palestinians and more than 1,538 Israelis.

Besides the large number of casualties and displacement, basic supplies are running low for the 2.3 million people in Gaza due to the Israeli siege.

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