Israeli flag burning. (illustrative) (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis) AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis
Israeli flag burning

The Bahraini Supreme Court sentenced a man to three years in prison for burning an Israeli flag at a pro-Palestinian protest.

By United with Israel Staff

A Bahraini court refused to hear an appeal by a convicted Bahraini man found guilty of organizing an illegal pro-Palestinian gathering, rioting and burning the Israeli flag in the town of Budaiya, Bahrain in May 2019. He was sentenced to three-years in prison, according to media reports this week.

The prosecution said the man “intended to endanger people’s lives and properties, to destabilize public security and to disrupt traffic.” The burning of the Israeli flag at the entrance to the village of Abu Saiba was intended to block streets, according to reports.

Following the news, Twitter erupted with a fury of claims that this was the first time an Arab country punished a person for burning the Israeli flag and the sentence shows a thawing of ties with Israel and a desire to appease the Jewish country.

Bahraini journalist Adel Marzooq tweeted, “This is the first time that Bahrain punishes citizens for burning the Israeli flag. It is striking that it is the same punishment prescribed in the Israeli Penal Law (3 years imprisonment).”

Though Bahrain does not hold official diplomatic relations with Israel, ties between the two countries have warmed over the past years.

During a June 2019 interview with Israel’s Channel 13, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said, “Israel is historically part of the heritage of this whole region. So the Jewish people have a place among us.”

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner also presented parts of US President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century” in Bahrain.