Israel Revokes Palestinian Foreign Minister’s Travel Permit After ICC Visit

HastagNet – Israel has reportedly revoked the special travel permit of Palestinian Authority (PA) Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki after he visited the International Criminal Court (ICC).

In addition, al-Maliki’s team was also interrogated by The Israeli intelligence service on the same day that the travel permit was revoked, as loaded Sputnik, Sunday (3/21/2021).

According to a top PA Foreign Ministry official, Ahmad al-Deek, the revocation of the VIP travel permit occurred as al-Maliki attempted to cross the Allenby bridge from Jordan to the West Bank.

With such a travel permit, every official can pass through Israeli checkpoints without a hitch. However, al-Maliki’s entourage was questioned by Shit Bet troops at the scene.

“The minister was detained for about an hour, and his staff was about an hour, all informed,” al-Deek said.

The PA Foreign Ministry then asked Israel to clarify the decision.

According to the Times of Israel, an Israeli official confirmed that the incident occurred. But he repeatedly legithed al-Maliki’s permission.

It was not explained why al-Maliki’s permit had been revoked but the PA Foreign Ministry claimed that Israel had blocked the permit because of ramallah’s strong cooperation with the ongoing ICC investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes.

Before the permit was revoked, al-Maliki made a visit to Europe, where he visited The Hague to speak with ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.

During the visit, Palestinian diplomats called Bensouda to speed up the pace of the investigation.

“The foreign minister stressed the importance of speeding up the investigation into crimes committed in the territory of the State of Palestine, in a way that ensures justice for the victims and their families among the Palestinian people,” the foreign ministry said at the time.

In March, Bensouda announced that he would begin an investigation into alleged Israeli and Palestinian war crimes in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem during the summer of 2014.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the ICC’s decision, while the Palestinian authority welcomed the investigation. [rmol]