“A couple months ago… we saw a true reflection of how the accords can bring about peace,” said Bahrain’s ambassador to the U.S.
By Josh Plank, World Israel News
Bahrain’s ambassador to the U.S., Abdulla bin Rashid Al Khalifa, on Monday credited the Abraham Accords with reducing the death count and duration of Israel’s recent conflict with Hamas in Gaza, the Times of Israel reported Tuesday.
“A couple months ago… we saw a true reflection of how the accords can bring about peace,” said Khalifa in an interview organized by the ROPES civil society group.
Khalifa compared Operation Guardian of the Walls, which lasted for 11 days in May, to Operation Protective Edge, which lasted for seven weeks in the summer of 2014.
“Overnight there was an escalation in Gaza. That escalation reminded us of 2014, but when we compare the two, we see how shorter it [was] this year than it was in 2014. Obviously, there were casualties, but much less this time than in 2014,” he said.
In May, 15 people were killed in Israel and 256 were killed in Gaza. In 2014, 74 people were killed in Israel and over 2,000 in Gaza.
Khalifa said that the establishment of diplomatic ties with Israel created another line of communication that could be used to “reduce conflict and escalation.”
The ambassador also said that Bahrain remains “committed to the grievances of the Palestinian people,” despite having entered into a normalization agreement with Israel.
“There’s a little more leverage that Palestinians should think about when it comes to Bahrain and others joining the accords,” said Khalifa.
“Bahrain is adding a voice [on behalf of] the Palestinian people, as opposed to only looking out for [our own] bilateral relations,” he said.
On May 19, two days before the end of Operation Guardian of the Walls, Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani spoke with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to discuss “the Egyptian initiative to secure a truce between the Palestinian and Israeli sides and to reach an immediate ceasefire.”
On May 14, Zayani spoke with Riyad Al Maliki, foreign minister of the Palestinian Authority, to reiterate “the Kingdom of Bahrain’s strong condemnation of the attacks launched by the Israeli forces on the Gaza Strip.”
During the call, Zayani expressed Bahrain’s support for a Palestinian state and condolences for the “martyrs who were killed as a result of the Israeli attacks.”
On May 8, two days before barrages of rockets were fired toward Israel from Gaza, the Bahraini Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a “strong condemnation” of Israeli police enforcement against Arab rioters on the Temple Mount.
Israel, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates signed the U.S.-brokered normalization agreement known as the Abraham Accords in September 2020.