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Kuwait parliament passes legislation banning normalization of ties with Israel

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The Kuwaiti parliament has passed a bill stipulating jail and hefty fines for anyone who deals with Israel, Gulf Today reported.

The bill, submitted by MPs Adnan Abdulsamad, Hisham Al Saleh, Ali Al Qattan, Ahmad Al Hamad and Khalil Al Saleh, sought a ban on any dealings or normalization with Israel.

The bill also sought a ban on any direct or indirect contacts with Israel and also a ban on any Kuwaiti or expat residing in the country from visiting Israel.

The bill also sought to ban any expression of sympathy with Israel.

During the special parliamentary session to discuss the latest Israeli attacks in Palestinian territories, Kuwaiti legislators expressed their country's strong position towards the Palestinian cause, as well as its unswerving support and solidarity with the Palestinian people until they establish an independent sovereign state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

"Today, the Kuwaiti parliament held a special session to emphasize the popular and official position of Kuwait on its main issue, which is the issue of Palestine," Parliament Speaker Marzouq Ali al-Ghanim read out a statement issued at the end of the meeting.

The statement also expressed the assembly's strong condemnation of the latest Israeli offensive on the impoverished Gaza Strip, and vicious attacks against Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the occupied West Bank and other Palestinian territories occupied since 1948.

The parliament finally saluted Palestinian resistance factions, and underscored that the position of the Kuwaiti government and parliament towards Palestine is unwavering.

Earlier in the day, Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nasser al-Mohammad Al Sabah stated that his country's position on supporting Palestinians until they redress their full and legal rights is firm.

"The heinous crimes committed by occupying Israeli forces can be considered war crimes," he said.

Last week, hundreds of Kuwaitis demonstrated in support of Palestinians and burned an Israeli flag to protest the Israeli air attacks on Gaza. The rally was permitted by authorities despite corona virus restrictions currently in place.

Kuwait has long upheld a strong pro-Palestine stance, and has refused to normalize relations with Israel, unlike fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

Kushner's statement denounced

On August 17, 2020, the then senior White House advisor Jared Kushner criticized Kuwait's position on normalization with Israel. "Kuwait has so far adopted a strongly biased view of the Palestinians regarding the conflict, and this is clearly not very constructive."

Kushner's statement was met with a massive wave of anger among a large number of members of the Kuwaiti National Assembly.

The Kuwaitis considered Kushner's statements blatant interference in the internal Kuwaiti affairs, stressing at the same time that Kuwait will remain the last fortress against normalization.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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