Bahrain crown prince blasts ‘intolerable’ situation in Gaza, demands Hamas release hostages

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

Bahrain's Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, in Washington, March 2, 2022. (Elizabeth Frantz/Pool via AP)
Bahrain's Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, in Washington, March 2, 2022. (Elizabeth Frantz/Pool via AP)

Bahrain’s Crown Prince and Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa blasts the “intolerable” situation in Gaza and calls on Hamas to immediately release the roughly 240 hostages held in the enclave.

“I don’t think any Arab leader has called on Hamas to do this…So it is a time for straight talking,” Khalifa says ahead of the annual Manama Dialogue security summit.

He proposes Israel release the non-combatant female and teenage prisoners currently in its jails in exchange for the hostages in Gaza.

The Crown Prince notes that both the Quran and the Torah “both prohibit the killing of civilians.”

Khalifa says Bahrain’s red lines include no forced displacement of Palestinians from Gaza “now or ever;” no reoccupation of Gaza by Israel; no reduction of Gaza’s territory by Israel after the war; and no tolerance for Gaza being used as a launchpad for terrorism targeting Israel.

He argues that the Russian invasion of Afghanistan led to the creation of Al Qaeda and that the US invasion of Iraq led to the creation of ISIS. Khalifa warns that Israel’s ongoing invasion in Gaza might have the same effect.

““Think about what this will create in the age of social media. I think we will be looking at a far more difficult next 20 years,” he says.

Khalifa adds that the role of the US is “indispensable” in advancing a two-state solution after the war.

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