Israel Dismisses Threat Allegation by Palestinian Rights Lawyer

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) -

Israel has dismissed outright the statement by a Dutch-based lawyer for a Palestinian human rights organization that she suspects Israel is behind a campaign of intimidation aimed at discouraging her cooperation with the International Criminal Court.

Nada Kiswanson, who works for the al-Haq organization, said Thursday the threats have been going on for months and have prompted Dutch authorities to launch an investigation and provide her with protection.

In a telephone interview, Kiswanson said she suspects Israel is behind the campaign because of the nature of the threats and her work, which includes cooperating with the ICC in its preliminary probe into possible crimes in the Palestinian territories.

Asked for comment on the claims, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said, “We do not react to such preposterous allegations.”

Kiswanson said she has received death threats and other intimidation over the phone and in other messages. On one occasion, a bunch of flowers with a threatening message attached was delivered to her home, where she lives with her Dutch husband and 2-year-old daughter.

Dutch prosecutors in The Hague confirmed in a written statement that they are investigating and providing protection, but gave no more detail.

“We are taking this very seriously,” prosecutors said, adding that their probe includes international requests for assistance.