GAZA (Dispatches) -- Palestinians in Gaza burnt pictures of Israeli, U.S., Bahraini and United Arab Emirates leaders on Saturday in protest over the two Persian Gulf regimes’ moves to normalize ties with the occupying regime of Israel.
Bahrain on Friday joined the UAE in agreeing to normalize relations with the Zionist entity, a move that betrays the Palestinian cause and hurts the sentiments of Muslims.
The Gaza protest, attended by many Palestinians, was organized by the Hamas movement. "We have to fight the virus of normalization and block all its paths before it succeeds, to prevent it from spreading,” said Hamas official Maher al-Holy.
Demonstrators set fire to pictures of U.S. President Donald Trump, Zionist PM Benjamin Netanyahu, Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and the UAE’s Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Muhammad bin Zayed al-Nayhan.
The Palestinians say the normalization is undermining a longstanding pan-Arab position that calls for Israeli withdrawal from occupied territory and acceptance of Palestinian statehood in return for normal relations with Arab countries.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose Palestinian Authority has limited rule in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, and his Hamas rivals have been united against the Persian Gulf states’ move.
In the West Bank, the Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Saeb Erekat, said, "The Bahraini, Israeli, American agreement to normalize relations is now part of a bigger package in the region, it isn’t about peace, it is not about relations between countries. We are witnessing an alliance, a military alliance being created in the region.”
Iran said on Saturday that Bahrain’s move meant it would be complicit in Israeli policies that threatened regional security.
Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said Bahrain would face "harsh revenge” from its own people and the Palestinians.
"The executioner ruler of Bahrain should await the harsh revenge of the Mujahideen (Islamic fighters) aiming to liberate Quds and the proud Muslim nation of this country,” the IRGC said in a statement posted on its website.
Yemen’s February 14 Youth Coalition, named after the date of the beginning of their popular uprising against the ruling regime, denounced the "despicable and provocative” step by King Hamad.
"We express our strong rejection and condemnation of the trilateral agreement among the United States, Bahrain and Israel. We hold King Hamad responsible for the consequences of this unwise decision,” it said in a statement.
"We assure the Palestinian nation and the rest of the free Arab world that Bahraini people are blameless for this normalization and betrayal. This announcement represents no one other than the despotic Al Khalifah regime, who declared a war on all Muslim and Arab values and principles, and sold their values, honor and the Palestinian cause to Trump and Netanyahu in order to remain in power,” the statement added.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry said that it
would hold the governments of Bahrain and its allies responsible for any insecurity caused by the occupying regime of Israel in the Persian Gulf region.
Bahrain has become the fourth Arab country to reach an agreement with Israel, which exchanged embassies with Egypt and Jordan decades ago.
The UAE agreed to normalize ties with the Zionist regime a month ago under a U.S.-brokered deal due to be signed on Tuesday at a ceremony hosted by Trump, who is seeking re-election on Nov. 3.
"Bahrain’s shameful move sacrifices the Palestinian cause and decades of struggle ... at the expense of the U.S. election,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
"The rulers of Bahrain will from now on be partners to the crimes of the Zionist regime as a constant threat to the security of the region and the world of Islam,” it said.
"The oppressed and right-seeking people of Palestine and the freedom-seeking Muslims of the world, without doubt, will never accept the normalization of relations with the usurping and lawless Israeli regime, and this shameful act will remain in the historical memory of the oppressed and downtrodden Palestinian nation and the world’s freedom-seeking nations,” the ministry added.
Bahrain is home to the U.S. Navy’s regional headquarters. Saudi Arabia sent troops to the small island state in 2011 to help quell a popular uprising against the leadership.
Lebanon’s Hezbollah group said it strongly condemned Bahrain’s move to normalize ties with the Zionist regime.
Yemen’s popular Houthi movement warned that Bahrain’s rulers would pay a hefty price for their betrayal of the Palestinian cause.
"The Palestinian cause has distanced itself from the burden of regimes, which used to secretly stab it through treachery and now are doing it conspicuously,” it said in a statement.
The popular movement voiced its unwavering support for the Bahraini people in their legitimate struggle to restore dignity and sovereignty, and to divest themselves of dependency, betrayal and tyranny.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry also strongly condemned Bahrain’s decision, saying it "will further encourage Israel to continue illegitimate practices towards Palestine and its efforts to make the occupation of Palestinian lands permanent.”
At a summit of the 22-member Arab League this week, foreign ministers failed to back a Palestinian push to condemn last month’s normalization deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
"May you never be sold out by your ‘friends’,” read one bitter tweet by senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi after the UAE-Israel deal was announced in August.