Avi Melamed
Real Knowledge is a True Asset

The King of Bahrain to visit The Gaza Strip this week?

According to reports in the Arab media – which have been denied by official Bahraini spokesmen – the King of Bahrain will visit the Gaza Strip by the end of this week.

Such a visit, should it take place, would be another indication of the Gulf States willingness to reward Hamas following its detachment from the Iranian-Syrian axis.

A visit by the King of Bahrain, following last week’s visit of the Emir of Qatar to the Gaza Strip is a clear sign of support of the Gulf monarchies for the pragmatic wing of Hamas.

The visit is also a signal from Saudi Arabia.  Qatar’s tendency to conduct independent foreign policy and to promote its own agenda is a source of tension in its relationship with Saudi Arabia.  Hamas should listen very carefully to the message from the King of Bahrain since it is a message directly from the Saudi King.

Another important aspect of this visit is the inner-Palestinian split.  Senior Arab analysts view the visit of the Emir of Qatar to the Gaza Strip as a massive blow to the Palestinian Authority and to the Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas. The common assumption on the Palestinian street is that the visit substantially decreases the already slim odds for a Palestinian reconciliation.  It is reasonable to assume that the visit of the King of Bahrain will be viewed the same way.

About the Author
Avi Melamed is a Strategic Intelligence Analyst and an Expert on the Current Affairs in the Arab and Muslim World and their impact on the Middle East. He is the Founder and CEO of Inside the Middle East: Intelligence Perspectives (ITME), an empowering intelligence analysis praxis transforming students and practitioners into knowledgeable, media literate, critical thinkers. ITME’s goal is to ensure that the next generation of policy influencers will have be equipped with the knowledge, skills and tools to independently and accurately decipher the Middle East and accurately predict the direction of future events. He is a former Israeli Intelligence Official and Senior Official on Arab Affairs. In his public service, he has held high-risk Government, Senior Advisory, Intelligence and Counter-Terrorist intelligence positions in Arab cities and communities throughout the region – often in very sensitive times - on behalf of Israeli Government agencies. His newest book, Inside the Middle East: Making Sense of the Most Dangerous and Complicated Region on Earth, (also available as an audio book) – a GPS to help you navigate the dramatically changing Middle East, offers a unique insight into the Arab world, challenges widely-accepted perceptions, provides a guide to make sense of the events unfolding in the region, and offers an out of the box idea that could lead to a positive breakthrough in the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. As an Author, Educator, Expert, and Strategic Intelligence Analyst, Avi provides intelligence analysis, briefings and tours to diplomats, Israeli and foreign policy makers, global media outlets, and a wide variety of international businesses, organizations, and private clients on a range of Israel and Middle East Affairs. An Israeli Jew, fluent in Arabic, English and Hebrew, with a unique understanding of Arab society and culture, Avi has his finger on the pulse on the Arab world. He has a proven record of foreseeing the evolution of events in the Middle East and their impact on a local and regional level. Through all of his efforts, as an analyst, educator, entrepreneur, and writer, he is a bridge builder, and dedicates himself to enhancing the Arabic, English and Hebrew speaking audience’s comprehensive understanding of the Middle East and of each other. @AviMelamed