News ID: 103067
Publish Date : 27 May 2022 - 21:25
Iraqis Take to Streets to Celebrate ‘Historic Moment’

BAGHDAD (Dispatches) -- Iraq’s parliament on Thursday unanimously approved legislation that criminalizes any form of “normalization” with the occupying regime of Israel.
According to the text of the law, all Iraqis, whether inside or outside the country, are banned from establishing relations with Israel, visiting Occupied Palestine, or promoting normalization.
The legislation applies to all state officials, including those in the semi-autonomous northern Kurdistan region, as well as government institutions, private sector companies, the media, foreign companies and their employees.
The law stipulates that any Iraqi who visits Occupied Palestine will be sentenced to life imprisonment, and those who establish any political, economic, or cultural relations with Zionist institutions, even through social media networks, will be sentenced to death.
The text of the legislation forbids any and all communication with the “Zionist entity” and the promotion of any “Zionist or masonic” ideas, principles or behaviors, by any public or secret means, including conferences, gatherings, publications, or through social media.
The law expands on Iraq’s 1969 Penal Code, which stipulates that citizens who communicate with the occupying regime of Israel will face prosecution and possibly the death penalty. That legislation was frozen after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
Political observers said that the legislation could put an end to a debate that has existed for years over whether Iraq would follow other regional Arab states in normalizing ties with the Zionist regime.
The United Arab Emirates, Sudan, Bahrain, and Morocco established diplomatic relations with Israel in 2020, in a move that was slammed by Palestinians and much of the Arab world as a betrayal.
Analysts said it was too early to know how the news would affect oil companies or other foreign investment firms operating in Iraq, but that the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region would be the most affected.
Earlier this week, Iraq’s resistance groups said the Kurdistan region’s prime minister Masrour Barzani was training armed militias with “Israeli support” to create chaos and disorder in the country.
The Coordination Committee of the Shia Resistance Axis warned Kurdistan authorities that their “malicious pursuit, and the fire they are trying to ignite, will come back on them and burn them before it hurts others, and they will only suffer disappointment and loss”.
“We have monitored training operations for armed groups in the Kurdistan region of Iraq under the auspices of Masrour Barzani, as well as suspicious movements from internal tools to foreign agents, aimed at spreading chaos, disorder, and sabotage, and tearing the unity of the Iraqi people, and the social fabric, with clear Zionist fingerprints,” the committee said.
Harakat Hezbollah Nujaba, a major Iraqi resistance group, threatened earlier this month to target Israeli positions and U.S. military bases in Kurdistan.
Akram al-Kaabi, the founder and secretary-general of the movement,

  said by hosting U.S. military bases and Mossad centers, Kurdish leaders were not only compromising the security of the Iraqi people, but had also turned U.S. forces and Israeli spies in northern Iraq “into a legitimate target for Iraqi resistance groups”.
The anti-normalization legislation was proposed by the influential Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s “Sairoon” parliamentary bloc. 
The Sairoon Alliance secured 74 seats out of a possible 329 in October’s parliamentary elections.
“Praise be to God, who has let down the Israeli terrorists,” Sadr tweeted after the law was passed. “I invite you to pray to thank God, and then take to the streets to celebrate this great achievement.”
Thousands of Iraqis took to the streets of Baghdad and other major cities and provinces to celebrate, with many thanking the cleric for mobilizing the legislation in parliament.
“At a time when some Arab governments are racing to normalize with the Zionist entity, here is our distinguished parliament, legislating its law... against the usurping entity and against normalization with it,” said Qais Khazali, leader of the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq.
“It is... a great message at a historic moment, sent by the great Iraq to all the countries of the region. Actually to all the countries of the world,” Khazali said.
The legislation came less than a week after Iraq voiced objection to the mention of “state of Israel” in the final statement of an Arab inter-parliamentary conference in Egypt. 
The objection was raised by Iraq’s parliament speaker Muammad al-Halbousi who also condemned a few Arab countries’ normalization of ties with the occupying regime.
Halbousi, his office said, stressed “the replacement of the description with the ‘occupying Israeli entity’,” during the emergency conference of the Arab Parliamentary Union on the situation in Palestine, held in Cairo.
He also expressed the Iraqi parliament’s determination to pass laws barring Baghdad from normalizing relations with the Tel Aviv regime.
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