Iraqi Parliament demands probe into alleged visits to Israel by officials
Alleged visits by Iraqi officials to Israel announced by the Jewish state stirred controversy Monday in Iraq, where the deputy parliamentary speaker demanded a probe to identify those who crossed a “red line” Trend reports referring to Alarabiya
Israel’s foreign ministry said on Twitter on Sunday that three Iraqi delegations visited Israel in 2018, and details were also later released by media.
Baghdad does not recognize Israel, and is technically in a state of war with it.
First deputy speaker of parliament Hassan Karim al-Kaabi called in a statement for “an investigation... to identify those who went to the occupied territory, particularly if they are lawmakers”.
“To go to the occupied territory is a red line and an extremely sensitive issue for all Muslims”, the statement said.
Kaabi is close to Shiite leader Moqtada Sadr, whose bloc won the largest number of seats in Iraq’s legislative election last year.
Israel’s foreign ministry said on Twitter that the 15 Iraqi visitors were “influential Shiite and Sunni personalities in the country”, but did not give names.
The ministry said the Iraqi travelers had visited “Israeli officials and universities”, as well as the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.
A spokesman for the memorial told AFP that “a group of 10 Iraqis” had “undertaken a guided tour in late December”.
He said he was not able to give details on the identity and roles of the Iraqis.
In the same context, the Israeli researcher and journalist, Edy Cohen revealed the names of the Iraqi MPs who visited Israel among a number of delegations, adding in a previous statement that these delegations were official ones representing the Iraqi government.
In a tweet in Arabic, Cohen named the Iraqi lawmakers as Sunni Ahmed al-Jubouri, Ahmed al-Jarba, former MP Abdul Rahim al-Louwaizi, Abdulrahman al-Shammari who are all from Nineveh governorate and Khalid al-Mafraji from Kirkuk in addition to female lawmaker Aliaa Nassif, a Shiite from Baghdad.