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#TweetDeleted: Israel praises Bahrain king over normalisation rumours before deleting tweet Open in fullscreen

Diana Alghoul

#TweetDeleted: Israel praises Bahrain king over normalisation rumours before deleting tweet

Israel tweeted and then deleted the acknowledgement [Twitter]

Date of publication: 17 September, 2017

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Israel's ministry of foreign affairs broke diplomatic protocol with a tweet backing rumours that Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa supports the establishment of diplomatic ties with Israel.
Israel's ministry of foreign affairs appeared to have broken diplomatic protocol on Sunday, when it sent a tweet that was supportive of a rumour that the Bahraini king had "grown tired" of the Arab boycott of Israel.

"Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa denounced the Arab boycott against Israel and has confirmed that Bahraini citizens are now free to visit #Israel," the tweet read in Arabic.
Moments later and the tweet from the Arabic-language account of Israel's ministry of foreign affairs was deleted, perhaps aware that the post would anger Bahrain.

The post had shown a photo of Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, announcing that he is now allowing his subjects to enter Israel, despite there being no formal announcement from Manama.

The claim was based on a article by the Jerusalem Post that Khalifa had reportedly told a leading US-based rabbi that he had grown tired of the Arab boycott of Israel.

The article published other alleged controversial comments that will likely embarress the king, including that Bahrainis were free to visit Israel and Manama wanted to establish diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv.

The king's comments were reportedly made to Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the head of US-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, during a multi-religious event.

Cooper and his partner Marvin Hier met with King Hamed at the centre and discussed the opening of a museum for religious tolerance in Bahrain's capital Manama towards the end of the year.

By tweeting the claims, the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs appeared to go against diplomatic protocol of commenting on reports that have not officially come from the state itself.

Translation: Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa denounced the Arab boycott against Israel and has confirmed that Bahraini citizens are now free to visit #Israel


Reports of Gulf Arab states normalising relations with Israel had become prevalent over the past weeks. Last week, reports emerged that a secret meeting was held between a leading Saudi royal and senior Israeli officials in Tel Aviv.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also confirmed that Israel was enjoying the "greatest relations ever" with the Arab world, even without a peace accord with Palestinians.

In June, leaked emails of the UAE's ambassador to the US Yousef al-Otaiba's revealed that Abu Dhabi had established secret links with Israel.

The emails showed a "growing link" between the UAE and pro-Israel think-tank, Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD).

One of FDD's senior councillors John Hannah "continued to exchange" a series of e-mails with Otaiba in which the two emphasise the positive relations between UAE officials and the pro-Israel think tank.

Last year, Bahrain hosted a delegation of American Jews at a ceremony to mark the Jewish Hanukkah holiday.

A video of the event - taken by an attendee - circulated widely on social media as it showed Bahraini men in local kaffiyeh attire attending the party with Orthodox Jews.

Although it was unclear whether the attendees had any affiliations with Israel, the video prompted condemnation from the Palestinian movement Hamas.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Hamas said it was "amazed and deplored" that Bahrain hosted "a Zionist, racist and extremist Jewish delegation and danced with them in a disgraceful spectacle".

In the statement, Hamas urged Bahrain to end the move towards normalising relations with Israel.

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