Bahrain expels several Lebanese over Hezbollah links
Authorities in Bahrain have announced the deportation of a number of Lebanese nationals from the country over affiliation with or support for the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement.
“A number of Lebanese residents have been deported after it was confirmed that they belonged to and supported terrorist Hezbollah,” the Bahraini interior ministry said in a statement on Monday.
The statement, however, did not provide any information about the number of people affected.
Lebanese press reported last week that up to 10 families had been ordered to leave Bahrain. There are reportedly 750 Lebanese nationals living in the Persian Gulf littoral state.
The announcement came only three days after the Arab League branded Hezbollah a “terrorist” group in a statement at the end of a meeting in the Egyptian capital city of Cairo. However, Lebanon and Iraq refused to go along with the move and Algeria expressed “reservations” about it.
In a similar move, the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council ([P]GCC) issued a statement on March 2, labeling Hezbollah a “terrorist” organization. The Arab bloc comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Hezbollah later denounced the designation and described the [P]GCC member states as “reckless and hostile.”
The measure came days after Riyadh retracted a USD four-billion aid pledge to Lebanon’s security forces. The decision was made in the wake of recent victories by the Syrian army, backed by Hezbollah fighters, against the Takfiri militants fighting to overthrow the Damascus government.
Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has said the Saudi regime seeks to provoke “strife” between Shias and Sunnis in the Middle East, urging the Lebanese not to be intimidated by threats being posed by Riyadh and Tel Aviv.