Iraq has had a firm
stance toward the Palestinian issue, as it rejects every deal that would
undermine the rights of the Palestinian people, or violate their legitimate
Since 2019 has started, Iraqi politicians, especially Sunnis, have reiterated rejection of attempts to normalize the relations with Israel. Iraq is a firm supporter of the Arab League boycott of Israel. Its passports are not valid for travel to Israel.
In January this year, many reports said that three delegations of local leaders from Iraq have reportedly made visits to Israel in recent months, where they held meetings with Israeli officials.
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.
A spokesman for the memorial told AFP that “a group of 10 Iraqis” had “undertaken a guided tour in late December”.
Iraqi politician Mithal al-Alusi called for opening channels with Israel, saying that that the visits to Israel are secret because they fear groups linked to Iran, al-Qaeda or ISIS to eliminate them
However, Hassan al-Kaabi, first deputy speaker of the Parliament 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.
Alaa al-Dilfi, Nasr Alliance Parliament Member, and a member of the parliamentary foreign relations committee stressed the need to investigate the alleged visit of some MPs to Israel and to take strict measures against them in case these allegations are proven true.
"If the news about some MPs' visit to Israel was proven correct, the parliament had to take strict legal measures against them," Dilfi said. "This is absolutely unacceptable. We must respect the Palestinian cause for which we sacrificed a lot in the liberation battles," he added.
For his part, National Wisdom Movement MP Abbas Sarwat said that most of the MPs who reportedly visited Israel denied the news, urging Parliament members not to judge the accused MPs before the information circulated by media are legally checked.
Denying recent reports saying that Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed al-Hakim acknowledged Israel's existence, the ministry immediately issued a statement affirming Iraq's fixed stance toward the Palestinian cause.
"Statements and news reports circulated by the media and social networking platforms on the foreign minister's statement on Iraq's stance toward the Palestinian issue and the two-state solution were recently issued. In this regard, we would like to show that what has been transmitted is [contradicting] reality and is totally devoid of any truth," the statement read.
The ministry affirmed the country's fixed stance of the Palestinian cause, which "is based on the Arab Peace Initiative in 2002, which was reiterated in the Arab League Summit 2012 in Baghdad (the Baghdad declaration)"
Iraq's stance is based on "the continuous support to restore the Palestinian territories usurped by the Zionist entity, and also the support of Palestinian authority's efforts at international conferences and forums in each of Geneva and New York," the statement added.
Sunni Parliament Speaker Mohamed al-Halbousi affirmed the "brotherly" relations between Iraq and Palestine, during his meeting with Salim Zanoun, chairman of the Palestinian National Council in January.
Zanoun, along with his accompanying delegation expressed keenness to have a permanent committee for Palestine in the Iraqi parliament, as in the case of Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt, a statement by Halbousi's office read.
During the meeting, Halbousi said that the leadership and people of Iraq are committed to a unified stance toward the Palestinian cause, defining Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Palestine, the statement added.