Netherlands Asks Israel About Palestinian Minister’s Travel Pass

THE HAGUE (REUTERS/Hamodia) -
The sun bounces off the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

The Netherlands said on Tuesday it had 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.

A Palestinian official said on Sunday 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.

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.

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced this month that she would investigate alleged war crimes. Maliki met with the prosecutor in The Hague last week to urge her to accelerate the investigation, his office said.

Rawan Sulaiman, who serves as head of the Palestinian mission in the Netherlands and Palestinian representative to the ICC, called on 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 recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC, and the United States, which has not ratified its founding statute, have both denounced the war crimes investigation, charging bias against Israel.

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