Palestine slams Bahrain over importing goods from Israeli settlements

Palestine have slammed Bahrain’s decision to import goods from the “illegal” Israeli settlements under its normalization agreement with Tel Aviv reached two months ago.

“The Israeli settlements are illegal and built on the occupied lands of Palestine,” Xinhua news agency quoted Hussein al-Sheikh, head of civil affairs in the Palestinian Authority, as saying in a statement on Friday.

“There are international decisions to boycott the products made in the Israeli settlements,” al-Sheikh noted.

Meanwhile, Sami Abu Zuhri, spokesman of Hamas movement, said in another statement that Bahrain’s decision “represents a violation of international law and an indication of standing on the side of the occupier”.

He called on the Bahraini people “to pressure their government to stop making hostile decisions against the Palestinian people”.

Earlier, Bahraini Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism Zayed bin Rashid Al-Zayani announced that his country would not discriminate between products made in Israeli settlements and those made in Israel.

A US-brokered agreement between Israel and Bahrain to normalize ties was first announced on September 11 before it was officially signed at the White House on September 15.

A similar deal was also signed between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

According to the Palestine Liberation Organization, about 124 Israeli settlement outposts have been built in the West Bank since the 1990s without any official Israeli approval.

Palestinian rights groups said about 700,000 settlers have been living in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 1967.

The Israeli settlements built on the Palestinian territories are regarded as illegal by the international community.

However in 2019, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Washington no longer considered Israeli settlements as inconsistent with international law.