Analysts will see this as yet another antagonising move by Manama which has so far appeared resistant to GCC reconciliation.
The Bahraini Official Gazette announced that authorities had seized 130 properties belonging to the children of Sheikh Khalid bin Nasser bin Abdulla Al Missned’s, the maternal cousins of Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
According to the the gazette, where authorities publish such decisions making them legally binding, the Bahraini Ministry of Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning announced that it seized the properties in Manama “in order to expand government facilities as requested by the Ministry of Interior”.
“Pursuant to the provisions of the aforementioned law, this announcement is considered an official notice to the owners, and the owners can contact the Ministry through its email for all the details related to the matter,” the announcement added.
News reports stated that Al Missned is Sheikh Tamim’s maternal uncle—the brother of Sheikha Moza bint Nasser.
While no Qatari official has commented on the matter yet, this latest development will be viewed as part of the Manama’s continued provocative moves towards Doha. Despite signing the Al Ula Declaration which ended the dispute between the Gulf state and its neighbours— Bahrain has continued to behave in a way that analysts have described as resistant to GCC reconciliation.
In a recent incident, Qatar arrested Bahraini bodybuilding champion Sami Ibrahim Al Hadad and several others for breaching its territorial waters, it was the third time Bahraini vessels and nationals trespassed into Qatari territory within the space of a month.
Qatar later released Al Hadad as well as Bahraini citizens Mohammed Yousif Al Dossairi and fisherman Habib Abas, the latter was arrested in a separate incident on December 3rd.
Although Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt have resumed direct flights to and from Qatar, Manama has still not given the go-ahead for air travel to Doha.