Palestinian ambassador must be granted freedom of travel – Sorca Clarke TD
The decision by the Israeli government to revoke the VIP travel permit of Palestinian Foreign Minister Raid Malki has been condemned by Sinn Féin Junior spokesperson on Defence Sorca Clarke TD.
Teachta Clarke said:
“The decision of the Israeli authorities to seize the VIP travel card and revoke the rights of travel of Raid Malki is absolutely unacceptable. In the West Bank, over 61% of the area is under full Israeli political, civil and military control as part of Area C and a further 21% in Area B is under Israeli control for security matters.
“This means that without a security pass, travel through checkpoints between Palestinian Authority controlled areas is a long, laborious process that would make it impossible to carry out government duties efficiently. This is without even considering travel to other Palestinian Territories such as Gaza or East Jerusalem.
“This action has been taken unilaterally and is clearly a response to the Minister meeting with the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda last Thursday. Whether done as an act of vengeance or to stop Palestinian officials giving evidence to the court this move is wrong and will not stop Israel facing accountability.
“The ICC is currently investigating Israel for war crimes in the 2014 Gaza War and more recent protests along the Gaza border, as well as the policy on settlements and occupation in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
“If Israel denies these charges they should argue their case in court and not attempt to silence Palestinian representatives.”