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Bahrain to allow occupied West Bank goods to be labeled as 'Made in Israel'

Israel has long ignored international criticism of settlement activity [Getty]

Date of publication: 3 December, 2020

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Bahrain will allow Israeli goods produced in the West Bank to be labeled as 'Made in Israel'.
Goods coming to Bahrain from the Israeli-occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights will be labeled as "Made in Israel", the country's Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister Zayed bin Rashid Al-Zayani said on Thursday.

"Without going into details and border lines, Israeli products or services... will be treated like Israeli," Al-Zayani said according to The Jerusalem Post.

"We will recognise them as Israeli products," he added as he led Bahrain's first-ever trade delegation to Israel, following the normalisation of relations.

Al-Zayani said that a considerable deal of the business between the two countries will be in services from Israel's technology sector rather than tangible goods. 

"We will treat Israel and Israeli companies like we do Italian or German or Saudi companies, for that matter," he said.

"Israelis are welcome as any other international company in Bahrain."

The minister's comments come after the US announced in November it would consider exports from much of the West Bank as "Made in Israel".

The new guidelines will apply especially to Area C, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said. Area C is the part of the West Bank where Israel retains full civil and military control and where much of the settler population lives.

The decision on labelling "blatantly violates international law", said Nabil Abu Rudeinah, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, dismissing it as yet another biased move by Trump's administration. 

Israel's prime minister announced in November he will be visiting Bahrain "soon" after receiving an official invitation from the country's crown prince.

"I spoke with the Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Bahrain, Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa," Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted along with a video.

"We are both very enthusiastic about the fact that we can bring the fruits of peace to our peoples and countries, in a very short time," Netanyahu said.

The Israeli premier said he had received an invitation to visit and will accept it in the near future. "I will do it on your behalf and with pleasure," the premier added.

Bahrain normalised ties with Israel in recent months after signing a US-brokered deal.

Read more: Behind Bahrain's gamble on normalisation with Israel

The Bahrain's foreign minister embarked on the first-ever trip by a top Bahraini official to Israel in November.

During his visit, FM Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani called to resume Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and reportedly said regional peace would only prevail with the "creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel".

The UAE led the way in forging ties between the Gulf and Israel, announcing its decision first in August - a month before Bahrain followed suit. 

The Gulf agreements have been condemned by Palestinians, who consider the deal a "betrayal" to their cause.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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