Bahrain NGO faces fierce Palestinian backlash for Jerusalem visit





Tel Aviv - An interfaith group of Bahrani citizens and residents is facing fierce Palestinian backlash for visiting Jerusalem following a US move to recognize the disputed city as Israel's capital.



 
The Palestinian Authority Education Ministry said they are boycotting the group and the Hamas militant group condemned the delegation.
The Bahrani delegation's visit sparked accusations, largely over social media, of undermining the Palestinian national cause and endorsing Israel's control of Jerusalem - home to Islam's third holiest site.
Israel only has relations with two Arab countries - Egypt and Jordan - and visitors from other Middle Eastern nations are rare and controversial.
The purpose of the visit it "to have people of faith be part of the solution not part of the problem" in the Middle East, Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, who is hosting the group, told dpa on Monday.
The delegation was not scheduled to meet any government officials or travel to the West Bank or Gaza, Cooper added.
No Bahrani officials are on the delegation.
Meanwhile, dozens of Palestinians gathered in Gaza on Monday to protest the visit, the Palestinian new agency Maan reported.
The 25-member group, which includes Hindus, a Sikh, and Sunni and Shia Muslims, is affiliated with the NGO This is Bahrain.
In a statement carried on the Bahrain state news agency BNA on Sunday the civil society group defended their visit to "Israel and Occupied Jerusalem" as "based on the principle of tolerance and coexistence, an approach embraced by the Kingdom of Bahrain." 

 


Monday, December 11th 2017
(dpa)
           


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