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Yemen's rival government set to become latest to criminalise relations with Israel

YEMEN’s rival government appears set to become the latest to criminalise relations with Israel, with its parliament planning to pass a law reaffirming the country’s solidarity with the Palestinian people. 

Prime Minister Abdulaziz bin Habtoor, who heads the Houthi rebel-backed administration, said Palestine remains the principle issue of the Muslim world and said the Bill would soon be passed. 

“We stand by the side of the Palestinian nation and their struggle in the face of Israeli threats to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the occupied al-Quds [Jerusalem] city,” he said. 

Leading Houthi figures have also called for a boycott of goods made by countries that support Israel. 

Speaking to Lebanese media organisation Al Mayadeen, Mohammed al-Bukhaiti said the ban would be a step towards ending Tel Aviv’s illegal occupation of Palestine. 

“As Arabs and Muslims, we must enforce the boycott of products made by countries supporting the zionist regime,” he said. 

The main countries that support Israel who would suffer through the imposition of such an embargo were identified as Britain and the US, the Houthi spokesman said.  

Iraq passed legalisation last week criminalising relations with Israel in support of a motion presented by influential Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Violation of the law is punishable by death or life imprisonment. 

Algeria has passed a similar law, while Tunisian lawmakers have expressed a desire to follow suit, although their parliament remains suspended. 

The growing number of Arab nations passing such legislation is seen as a counter to the process initiated by former US president Donald Trump. In 2020, the United Arab Emirates signed the so-called Abraham Accords in Washington DC, becoming the first Arab country to normalise relations with Israel since Jordan in 1984.

Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan have signed similar peace deals, but have faced significant internal opposition.

 

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