DOHA (Dispatches) – Hawar Island and Al Zubarah fort have been at the center of a historical territorial dispute between Bahrain and Qatar.
A decades-long territorial dispute between Qatar and Bahrain has resurfaced online once more with social media users engaging in a heated debate on Twitter.
Twitter hashtags claiming rights over the Hawar Islands prompted a swift response from both sides.
The Twitter dispute represents, on a miniature scale, a historical territory clash between the two Persian Gulf states. Bahraini authorities have long-claimed the Hawar archipelago, despite its location being only 1.9 km away from Qatari mainland.
Bahrain has also claimed Al Zubarah Fort, which lies near the northwest coast of Qatar and is internationally recognized as Qatari land.
Commenting on the matter, former Brigadier General of Qatari intelligence Shaheen Al-Sulaiti said “It shall return, sooner or later #Hawar_Is_Qatari.”
Al-Sulaiti added “not only is Hawar part of Qatar, but the entire island of Dilmun is Qatari.
Social media users in Qatar demanded the return of Hawar Island from Bahrain as well as the re-demarcation of borders between the two Persian Gulf states.
The territorial dispute between Bahrain and Qatar began in the mid-1900s.
In 1990, the row was referred to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) after the two sides slid towards war in 1986.
The Hague-based court in 2001 granted Qatar sovereignty over Zubara and Janan Islands, and ruled that Bahrain had a claim over Hawar Islands and Qit’at Jarada.
The latest developments come amid ongoing tensions between the two countries despite the recent reconciliation agreement signed between Qatar and the Arab quartet nations—Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain, and Egypt.
In 2017, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain severed diplomatic ties and transport links with Qatar.
The Saudi-led quartet accused Qatar of supporting terrorism, presented it with a list of demands and gave it an ultimatum to comply with them or face consequences.
Doha, however, denied terrorism charges and refused to meet the conditions laid out by the boycotting bloc, stressing that the country would not abandon its independent foreign policy.