Iraqi politician Mithal al-Alusi called
for opening channels with Israel ahead of an unprecedented series of visits
that three delegations of local leaders from Iraq have reportedly made to
Israel in recent months, where they held meetings with Israeli officials.
Alusi said that the visits to Israel are secret because they fear groups linked to Iran, al-Qaeda or ISIS eliminating them, adding that this shows that freedom in Iraq is still declining and that citizens fear organized terrorism in the streets.
The delegations, totaling 15 Iraqis, held meetings with Israeli academics, visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, and, most significantly, met with Israeli government officials, Hadashot TV news reported on Sunday night.
Iraq is a firm supporter of the Arab League boycott of Israel. Its passports are not valid for travel to Israel.
The groups made the trips, which were firmly designated as unofficial visits, under conditions of great secrecy, the TV report noted, in part in order to avoid antagonizing Iraq’s Iranian neighbors.