Heightened security ahead of Herzog's Bahrain visit

Calls from Bahrain's pro-Iran opposition to boycott and disrupt the visit are raising concerns amongst security officials in both states, with shadows of January's missile launch during Herzog's visit to Abu Dhabi looming

Itamar Eichner|
President Isaac Herzog is set to take off on Sunday for an official visit to Bahrain at the invitation of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, awakening concerns amongst Israeli security officials.
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  • This visit will mark the first of an Israeli President at an Arab kingdom in the Persian Gulf.
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    King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
    King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
    King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Following meetings held over the past two days, the Shin Bet decided to significantly heighten Herzog's security, due to calls from Bahrain's pro-Iran opposition to boycott and disrupt the visit. Security officials in Bahrain have instructed similar security reinforcements.
    The main concern amongst Israeli officials is that Iran and its agents will attempt to disrupt the visit, as they did when the Houthis launched a missile at the UAE Herzog visited Abu Dhabi in January of this year.
    2 View gallery
    נשיא המדינה יצחק הרצוג פגישה עם מוחמד בן זאיד
    נשיא המדינה יצחק הרצוג פגישה עם מוחמד בן זאיד
    Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Isaac Herzog in Abu Dhabi
    (Photo: GPO)
    Authorities in Bahrain have prohibited the pro-Iran opposition from protesting on the day of the president's arrival, but specified nothing regarding the day before the visit.
    The Israeli President is set to stay at the Sakhir Palace, and will be welcomed by a ceremony, at the King's demand. He will be welcomed to the palace with Israeli flags and a military orchestra that will play the Israeli national anthem "Hatikvah".
    During his visit, Herzog will meet with Bahraini senior officials and members of the local Jewish community.
    On Monday, Herzog will fly back to the UAE, where he will take part in a the Global Space Congress in Abu Dhabi. He will also meet with President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, for the fourth time since the beginning of his presidency.
    This trip indicates the warm ties between the Israeli President and Middle Eastern leaders. The leaders are expected to discuss the countries' relations, peace prospects, and expansion of cooperation.
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