On Sunday, a Palestinian official said that Israeli authorities blocked the VIP pass of Riyad al-Maliki (Palestinian Foreign Minister) over his arrival to the West Bank from a conference at the ICC (International Criminal Court).
On Thursday, an official at Riyad al-Maliki’s office, Ahmed al-Deek has described to Reuters that the Israeli action was connected to Riyad al-Maliki’s conference with Fatou Bensouda (International Criminal Court’s lead prosecutor) at her office in The Hague.
Walla News website of Israel mentioned anonymous Israeli regulators who described Riyad al-Maliki’s ICC tour was the main reason for the cancelation of his VIP card, an Israeli-approved pass that allows many senior Palestinian regulators to move easily across the border.
Benjamin Netanyahu’s (Israeli Prime Minister) office refused to comment, and the foreign ministry of Israel didn’t respond to a request for making a comment.
Ahmed al-Deek said that this is the Foreign Minister of Palestine, and he does not represent himself. He represents Palestine, and we consider this as an assault against the State of Palestine. Moreover, he continued that the Israeli officers imprisoned and questioned Riyad al-Maliki’s advisers for ninety minutes at the Israeli-handled border crossing between the West Bank and Jordan.
Ahmed al-Deek explained that the minister left the border crossing without the VIP pass card. However, it wasn’t clear when it will be sent back to him.
This month, Bensouda declared that she should officially inspect war crimes in Palestine, an action greeted by the Palestinian Authority and criticized by Israel.
International Criminal Court’s prosecutors, on Monday, explained that they have pushed Israel and the Palestinians notifications of the starting of the war crimes investigation, an action that leaves the parties with 1 month to seek a delay.
On Thursday, Riyad al-Maliki’s office said that he had a meeting with Bensouda to stress that the investigations will be accelerated.