The Gulf State of Bahrain decided to block the website of Hezbollah’s al-Manar
TV station, according to a report earlier this month on al-Manar’s
Sheikh Fawaz bin Muhammad al-Khalifa, the communications
minister, announced that the government would block websites affiliated with
organizations that are internationally recognized as funders and promoters of
terrorism, according to a report by the Bahrain News Agency website on August
In addition to Hezbollah’s website, those run by al-Qaida will also be
“With the increasing threat of terrorism, it is critical that
Bahrain joins its allies and global partners in preventing the spread of
extremist ideology through shutting off access to sites developed by
internationally recognized terror groups, such as al-Qaida and Hezbollah,”
stated Communications Minister Sheikh Fawaz, according to the
Toby Dershowitz, vice president of government relations and
strategy at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, reports about the issue
on the Long War Journal website, predicting that other Gulf States may follow
Bahrain’s lead. Qatar has already deported 18 Hezbollah supporters, and Saudi
Arabia’s ambassador to Lebanon said his country would take action against the
organization as well, she writes.
Tensions have been high since Bahrain
accused Hezbollah of seeking to overthrow its government in 2011. In May,
Bahrain’s foreign minister called the head of Hezbollah a “terrorist,” after
Hassan Nasrallah said his fighters would help bring victory to its ally
President Bashar Assad in Syria’s civil war.
The Gulf Cooperation Council
GCC, created in 1981, is a political and economic alliance made up of six Gulf
Arab states – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and
Hezbollah and its patron Iran are seen by Bahrain and other Sunni
Gulf states as trying to foment unrest as part of what some analysts describe as
a Sunni-Shi’ite “cold war” in the region.
Some of these states, notably
Saudi Arabia, have been criticized by the West, Iran and humanitarian groups for
their crackdowns on Shi’ite protests.
Reuters contributed to this report.