Bahrain bill would outlaw contacts with Israel

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Lawmakers in Bahrain passed a bill that would outlaw any contact with Israel, including travel and business relationships.

The lower house of the parliament on Tuesday approved the bill, which includes jail terms of three to seven years and a $27,000 fine for "any contact or relations with Israel" or "the establishment of diplomatic or consular representation," the French news agency AFP reported.

Israel and Bahrain do not have official diplomatic ties.

The bill still must pass through the upper house of the Parliament, which is appointed by the king.

Bahrain has a close relationship with the United States and has been urging other Arab countries to initiate contact with Israel. In July, Bahrain’s Crown Prince Sheik Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post saying that the Arab world had not done enough to establish contact with Israel.
 

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