The Shin Bet has reportedly decided to boost President Isaac Herzog’s security detail when he travels to the Gulf next week following an online social media campaign from locals opposed to his visit.
The visits to Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates where Herzog will meet with senior leaders in both counties will still take place, Channel 12 clarified, but the security agency decided to take the precaution after identifying multiple posts by Bahraini opposition activists.
One of the posts features a picture of Herzog with his eyes reddened and a fire behind him along with the captions “criminal” and “you are not welcome in Bahrain.”
Another post reads, “All normalization is an act of treason. Do not come.”
The president is slated to take off for a state visit to Bahrain on December 4, at the invitation of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
He will be the first Israeli head of state to visit Bahrain. While there, he will meet with members of the local Jewish community and senior government officials and will lead a group of Israeli businesspeople to meet with the Bahrain Economic Development Board.
גורמי אופוזיציה בבחריין מתכוננים לביקור של הנשיא הרצוג בממלכה המפרצית בתחילת השבוע הבא pic.twitter.com/1t7RTlr9Cu
— roi kais • روعي كايس • רועי קייס (@kaisos1987) November 30, 2022
The next day, Herzog will head to the UAE to meet with his Emirati counterpart Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Abu Dhabi ruler known colloquially as MBZ. Herzog will also attend the Abu Dhabi Space Debate.
Lazar Berman contributed to this report.