Israel takes Palestinian minister's VIP pass in world court flap

January 08, 2023 10:42 PM AEDT | By Reuters
Follow us on Google News:
Image source: Reuters

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel suspended on Sunday a VIP pass easing the Palestinian foreign minister's travel in and around the occupied West Bank, among retaliatory measures for a Palestinian bid to involve the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in their decades-old conflict.

Entering the Israeli-occupied West Bank from Jordan, Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki was detained for 30 minutes by border guards who confiscated his "VIP" travel card, his office said.

A spokesperson for Israel's Defence Ministry, which administers the West Bank, confirmed the move, calling it part of the implementation of a government decision on Friday.

In that decision, Israel announced retaliatory measures after the U.N. General Assembly, responding to an appeal by the Palestinians, asked the ICJ for an opinion on the legal consequences of Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories.

Among the five measures listed was "revocation of benefits for VIPs leading the legal-diplomatic war against Israel".

On Saturday, Israel's Defence Ministry said the VIP cards of three other senior Palestinian officials had been revoked in response to them visiting a member of Israel's Arab minority who had been imprisoned for killing an Israeli soldier.

Issued under interim accords with Israel from the 1990s, the cards ease travel across the Israeli-controlled West Bank border with Jordan and from Palestinian-ruled territory into Israel.

"The foreign minister will continue his job and his diplomatic activities with or without the card,” Ahmed Al-Deek, an aide to Maliki, told Reuters.

Israel had confiscated Maliki's VIP card in 2021 after he returned from a meeting of the International Criminal Court. It was not immediately clear when and why the card had been restored.

(Reporting by Ali Sawafta in Ramallah and Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza; Writing by Dan Williams;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)


The above content is directly sourced from Reuters under a contractual arrangement. The content is being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; and does not constitute an endorsement or approval by Kalkine Media of any of the products, services, or opinions of the organization or individual. The user is apprised that Kalkine Media bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of Reuters, any external sites, or for that of subsequent links. The user is requested to contact Reuters directly for answers to questions regarding the content. Please note that Kalkine Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.

Top ASX Listed Companies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. OK