Al-Jazeera, December 11
Amid ongoing controversy over the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem, a delegation claimed to represent Bahrain interfaith group has arrived in Israel to “send a message of peace”, according to media reports.
A report in the Times of Israel on Sunday said the visit indicated a warming of ties between the two countries, which do not maintain diplomatic relations.
Comprising two dozen members of a group called This Is Bahrain, the delegation will stay in Israel for four days to “send a message of religious tolerance and coexistence”, according to the Times.
Bahraini officials have previously suggested that stronger ties between Israel and Bahrain could benefit both countries in confronting their mutual rival, 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”.
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.
The move drew condemnation from world leaders, including Bahrain’s foreign ministry, which issued a statement noting that the move “threatens the peace process in the Middle East and impedes all initiatives and negotiations” towards a lasting solution.