Bahraini Opposition Figure Blasts Manama's Close Ties with Israel
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Sheikh Abdullah Saleh, a top Bahraini opposition figure, slammed Bahrain’s Al Khalifa as the first ruling regime that established normal diplomatic relations with the Zionist regime of Israel.
“The Al Khalifa regime was the first one that established normal relations with Israel and has always encouraged normalization of ties with that regime (Israel),” Saleh, the under secretary general of Bahrain’s Islamic Action Society (Al Amal), said in a press conference held at the Tasnim News Agency central office in Tehran on Monday.
Although Qatar is widely believed to be the flag-bearer of establishing relations with the Zionist regime, this is the Al Khalifa which first embarked on normalizing ties with Israel, Saleh noted.
“The relations between Bahrain and Israel have not been overt all the time, however, Israel’s trade office has been running in Bahrain, and the two sides’ officials have been making numerous reciprocal visits,” the opposition figure explained.
Disclosing more information on amicable ties between Manama and the hegemonic powers, Saleh added, “The Al Khalifa’s ambassador to the US is also a Jewish woman.”
An uprising broke out in Bahrain in mid-February 2011. The protesters initially called for political reforms and a constitutional monarchy, but the regime’s heavy-handed crackdown on them soon prompted an outright call for the ouster of Al Khalifa regime.
From the outset of protests, demonstrators have been met with overwhelming military force leading to scores of deaths.
Human Rights Watch has accused the Bahraini government of violence and torture, with frequent reports of child protesters facing conditions which border on torture while in custody.