Manama: A Bahraini pro-Palestine NGO has called for the reinstatement of an imam who has been suspended allegedly after he harshly criticised the Egyptian authorities for building a steel fence on the borders with the Gaza Strip to prevent smuggling through the borders.

 “We reject the decision to suspend Shaikh Fareed Hadi and we see it as a hopeless attempt to silence the voices that support the Palestinians who has been under siege in Gaza for more than two years,” Abdullah Abdulmalek, the spokesman for the Bahraini Society to Resist Normalisation with the Zionist Enemy, said.

“We call for the formation of a strong lobby that will help promote awareness among people about the dangers of Zionism and its drive to infiltrate Arab and Islamic societies and influence them,” he said.

Fareed Hadi, a university professor and an influential leader of Al Eslah, the Bahraini offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, was allegedly suspended from delivering sermons at a mosque in Al Adliya, a posh area in Manama, after he condemned two weeks ago and in very harsh terms, the Egyptian regime for going ahead with building the steel barricade.

According to the imam, Palestinians are living in terrible pain and need prompt and strong support to help alleviate their suffering. They must not be made to suffocate under another siege from a country that has often supported them, he said.

Bahrain, like most Arab countries, has no diplomatic relations with Israel. Calls by its foreign minister Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa to set up a forum that brings together all Arab states, Turkey, Iran and Israel were strongly rejected by the anti-Israel society and MPs, mainly from Al Wefaq.

However, the initiative was supported by several MPs and opinion leaders whose arguments converged with those put forward by Shaikh Khalid who said that short of an open gathering involving all parties to address the crises crippling the Middle East, there will be no solution in the next 200 years.
Israel to build barricade on border with Egypt

While Egypt is building a steel wall on the borders with Gaza, a second fencing on its frontier will soon become a reality after Tel Aviv said that it would go ahead with the construction of a wall along the 143-mile border between Israel and Egypt.

According to Israeli media, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved this month the decision made after consultations involving security, political, and financial officials in Israel. Netanyahu believes construction of a barrier will stop smuggling and the migration of Africans seeking work or asylum in Israel.

However, according to the Los Angeles Times, Yom-Tov Samia, former chief of the southern command, said that the fence would be a waste of money, without close cooperation between Israel and Egypt. The only thing that might seal the border and stop smuggling would be a 300-foot moat filled with water and crocodiles, he said.