Bahrain’s Decision And Houthi Missiles: Shaking Foundations Of Abraham Accords In Middle East – OpEd


Bahrain has taken a significant step in showing its disapproval of Israel’s ongoing attack in Gaza by withdrawing its ambassador and cutting off trade ties with the country. The decision was confirmed by the administration after the lower house of parliament made an announcement. Jordan had taken a similar step earlier this week, and both countries have faced public pressure to reconsider their normalization agreements with Israel, which were signed in 2020 under the Abraham Accords. This move comes after the death toll in Palestine reached almost 9,000 due to Israel’s assault on Gaza.

The Abraham Accords are a series of agreements between Israel and four Arab nations: the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan. These agreements were mediated by the United States under the Trump administration with the aim of establishing or enhancing diplomatic, economic, and security ties between the parties. The accords were named after Abraham, a biblical figure who is considered a common ancestor of Jews and Arabs. While the accords were praised as a breakthrough for peace and stability in the Middle East, they were also criticized for ignoring the Palestinian cause and legitimizing Israel’s occupation and settlement expansion.

It is not yet clear how the Bahraini decision will impact the Abraham Accords. Israel’s foreign ministry said it had not been informed of any official change in relations and that its ties with Bahrain were “stable.” However, the move could indicate growing dissatisfaction among some Arab states with Israel’s policies and actions, especially regarding the Gaza Strip, which has been under a debilitating blockade since 2007 and has been subjected to repeated military attacks by Israel. The decision could also reflect a shift in regional dynamics under the Biden administration, which has pledged to restore the US role as a mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to re-engage with Iran on its nuclear program. The Abraham Accords were partially motivated by a mutual concern among Israel and some Arab states over Iran’s influence and activities in the region.

The Houthi rebels in Yemen have recently declared war on Israel. In their attacks, they have launched cruise missiles and drones, primarily targeting Israel. The Houthis are a Shia militia that controls most of northern Yemen, including the capital Sanaa. They have been involved in a civil war against the internationally recognized government of Yemen since 2014, with support from Iran.

This message is that the Houthis oppose the Abraham Accords and any efforts to normalize relations between Israel and the Arab world. The Houthis understand the limitations of their military equipment and they are not aiming to cause grave damage to Israel. Instead, their goal is to wage a political war. 

The Abraham Accords pose a threat to the Houthis’ interests and ambitions as they undermine their narrative of resistance and isolation. The accords also challenge Saudi Arabia’s leadership and influence in the region by demonstrating that some Arab nations are willing to deviate from the traditional Arab consensus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

These actions by the Houthis could complicate the regional diplomacy established through the Abraham Accords. Although the missile attacks are unlikely to cause severe damage to Israel, they could strain relations between the countries involved in the accords. This is especially true for Saudi Arabia, which is directly involved in the conflict with Yemen and has been politically targeted. 

In conclusion, while the immediate military impact of the Houthi’s declaration of war on Israel is minimal, its political implications could be far-reaching. It adds another layer of complexity to an already intricate regional dynamic and poses challenges to the progress made by the Abraham Accords. There are ongoing protests across the Middle East and the rest of the world, in response to Israel’s bombardment of the besieged Gaza Strip.

 This has sparked outrage and condemnation among many Arabs. It is important to consider the impact of the recent Bahraini decision on the Abraham Accords and the regional dynamics. This decision could potentially lead to other Arab states reconsidering their relations with Israel, depending on the developments in Gaza and the wider region.

Umair Aslam Sherani

Umair Aslam Sherani, an Islamabad-based academic researcher and lecturer, specializes in the fields of International Relations and International Security.

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