Legal action if any Bangladeshi tries to visit Israel: Momen

Publish: 9:02 PM, May 26, 2021 | Update: 9:02:PM, May 26, 2021

DHAKA,  – Foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen today said no Bangladeshi can visit Israel as Bangladesh does not recognize it.

“If anyone (Bangladeshi citizen) goes to Israel without the government’s permission that person will be liable to be prosecuted…there has been evidence before,” he said.

The foreign minister made the remakes while handing over donation of pharmaceutical products for the people of Palestine to its Ambassador to Bangladesh Yousef SY Ramadan at state guesthouse Padma in the capital.

The government never gave permission to anyone to visit Israel. “We remain very strong (on legal ground). Everybody knows it,” he added.

He said this is the responsibility of the Home Ministry to enforce the law. “Our immigration will stop them immediately. Immigration will control those things and they do it,” he added.

A confusion was created after Bangladesh issued a new e-passport book deleting the words “except Israel” to maintain international standard.

Until May this year, Bangladesh used to issue passport with a declaration that the travel document was “valid for all countries of the world except Israel” but updated e-passports read “This passport is valid for all countries of the world”.

Clearing the confusion, the foreign minister said, passport is an identity of a citizen which doesn’t relate to foreign policy of a country.

The minister said Bangladesh has not changed its position towards Israel and the foreign policy of Bangladesh remains the same as it was during Bangabandhu’s time.

“We don’t recognise Israel,” he reiterated.

Bangladesh handed over medicine worth of Taka 40 lakh to Palestine. Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen was also present on the occasion.

During the past eight decades of Israel-Palestine conflict, Bangladesh all along stridently supported the Palestinians’ cause and never recognised the existence of Israel while allowed Palestine to set up its embassy in Dhaka as an independent nation.

Bangladesh condemned the recent atrocities inflicted upon the civilians by the occupation forces of Israel in al-Aqsa mosque compound and at Gaza.

“Bangladesh reiterates its principled position concerning the two-state solution of the Palestine-Israel conflict in light of the UN resolutions recognizing pre-1967 borders and East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine,” a foreign ministry statement said recently.