Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki
Photo: AFP
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki

Israel takes Palestinian FM's VIP pass over ICC meeting, Palestinians say

Officials from PA Foreign Minister Maliki's office says the move to revoke the pass - which enables senior Palestinian officials to move freely through border crossings - was linked to his meeting with ICC Chief Prosecutor Bensouda

Reuters |
Published: 03.21.21 , 20:58
Israeli authorities confiscated the VIP border pass of Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki upon his return to the West Bank from a meeting at the International Criminal Court, a Palestinian official said on Sunday.
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  • Ahmed al-Deek, an official at Maliki's office, said the Israeli move was linked to Maliki's meeting with ICC lead prosecutor Fatou Bensouda at her office in The Hague on Thursday.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki
    Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki
    Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki
    (Photo: AFP)
    Walla!News website cited unnamed Israeli officials who said Maliki's ICC visit was the reason for the revocation of his VIP card, an Israeli-granted pass that enables dozens of senior Palestinian officials to move freely through border crossings.
    Spokespeople for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli foreign ministry did not respond to requests for comment.
    "This is the Foreign Minister of the State of Palestine. He doesn't represent himself. He represents the State of Palestine, and we regard this as an attack against the State of Palestine," said Deek.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda
    ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda
    ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda
    (Photo: AFP)
    He added that Israeli officers detained and questioned Maliki's aides for 90 minutes at the Israeli-operated border crossing between Jordan and the West Bank.
    Bensouda announced this month she would formally investigate alleged war crimes in the Palestinian Territories, a move welcomed by the Palestinian Authority and denounced by Israel.
    On Friday, ICC prosecutors said they have sent Israel and the Palestinians notifications of the opening of a war crimes probe, a move that leaves the parties with one month to seek a deferral.
    Maliki's office said on Thursday that he met with Bensouda to urge that the investigations be accelerated.

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