Sunday, 11 Apr 2021 - 29 of Nisan, 5781

Netherlands asks Israel about confiscation of Palestinian minister’s VIP pass following ICC visit

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The confiscation of the vip travel status is reportedly linked to Minister Al-Maliki’s the visit to the ICC where he spoke with Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, among others.

The Netherlands has asked Israel to clarify the status of the Palestinian Foreign Minister after his travel credentials were revoked following a visit to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Reuters reported.

A Palestinian official said that Riyad al-Maliki’s VIP card, a pass granted by Israel to allow senior Palestinian officials to move freely through border crossings, had been confiscated at the border crossing with Jordan on his return to Judea and Samaria, more commonly known as the West Bank.

The Israeli government has declined to comment on the matter.

“We have raised the matter with the Israeli embassy and informed them that, as a host country, the Netherlands is very invested in the fact that the ICC must be able to carry out its work without interference,” a Dutch foreign ministry spokesman said.

According to the Palestinian spokesman, the confiscation of the vip travel status is linked to Al-Maliki’s the visit to the ICC where he spoke with Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, among others. During his stay in the Netherlands, he also met outgoing Dutch Minister Stef Blok.

Bensouda announced this month that she would investigate war crimes in the Palestinian territories, after the court ruled that it had jurisdiction in the case.

“We will not be subject to intimidation as we seek justice for victims of atrocity crimes committed in Palestine,” said Rawan Sulaiman, who serves as head of the Palestinian mission in the Netherlands and Palestinian representative to the ICC.

Sulaiman called on ICC member states “to support the integrity, impartiality and independence of the ICC, particularly, in light of the threats it, and those cooperating with it, continue to face.”

Israel, which does not recognise the jurisdiction of the ICC, and the United States, which has not ratified its founding statute, have both denounced the war crimes investigation.

Israel has always spoken out against such an investigation, which Prime Minister Netanyahu called “anti-Semitic.”

Under former President Donald Trump, the United States imposed financial sanctions against Bensouda and her team.

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