Bahraini delegation kicked out from Aqsa Mosque

Remigio Civitarese
Dicembre 10, 2017

Amid ongoing controversy over the USA decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem, a Bahraini delegation has arrived in Israel to "send a message of peace", according to media reports.

According to the channel, the Bahraini delegation accompanied by an Israeli foreign ministry delegation visited Jerusalem's Old City, where the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound is located.

Bahrain has sent a group of political and religious figures to Israel to demonstrate the Gulf kingdom's commitment to religious pluralism and its intention to deepen ties with the Jewish state, an Israeli cabinet member said.

The delegation is comprised of faith leaders from a number of religions and religious committees who will visit Jerusalem and its holy sites bringing with them a message of peace and tolerance in the midst of Trump's highly divisive declaration.

But the response did not preclude the delegation from arriving in Israel on Sunday.

Gulf countries, which do not have diplomatic relations with Israel, have been cultivating unofficial ties, partly due to their shared concern about threats from Iran.

Documents released by WikiLeaks in 2011 highlighted Bahrain's contacts with Israel "at the intelligence/security level" and indicated that the Gulf country was "willing to move forward in other areas".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had previously said "developments in Israel's ties with moderate Arab countries are in an unprecedented situation". He said he expects a regional conference to be held in 2018 to advance peaceful ties between Arab countries and Israel.

The visit of the Bahraini delegation comes as protests continue to rage in the occupied Palestinian territories and around the world over a decision by US President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

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