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At Bahrain confab, Israeli official says outgoing government improved Palestinians’ lives

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

National Security Adviser Eyal Hulata speaks at Bahrain’s annual Manama Dialogue conference on November 20, 2022. (Screenshot)
National Security Adviser Eyal Hulata speaks at Bahrain’s annual Manama Dialogue conference on November 20, 2022. (Screenshot)

The outgoing government has “done a lot to improve the wellbeing” of Palestinians, National Security Adviser Eyal Hulata tells delegates at Bahrain’s annual Manama Dialogue conference.

“More workers into Israel, both from the West Bank and from Gaza,” Hulata continues, in response to multiple questions pressing him on Jerusalem’s policies toward the Palestinians. “We’ve addressed freedom of travel, checkpoints, border crossing and this is despite the fact that there were no conditions for a political process or progress.”

One of the Emirati delegates, think tank chief Ebtesam Al-Ketbi, expresses concern over the impact that Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition partners – what she calls the “Jewish Salafists” – will have on the Abraham Accords.

White House Coordinator for the Middle And North Africa Brett McGurk tells the conference that the US is focused on deterring “imminent threats” in the region.

“The United States is now actively building and enabling an integrated air and maritime defense architecture in this region,” says McGurk. “Something long talked about is now being done, through innovative partnerships and new technologies,” he adds without elaborating.

Answering a question about Israel’s policy on the Russia-Ukraine war, Hulata says that Israel is “collaborating with the Ukrainians on many issues and [I] will leave it at that.”

The three-day Manama security conference convenes each year to discuss the pressing security challenges of the Middle East, with hundreds of participating senior government officials and academics from dozens of countries.

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