Iraq passes law that makes relations with Israel a punishable offense

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Iraq IraqOn Thursday, the Parliament of Iraq passed a new law that makes holding contact with Israel a punishable offense, can also lead to death penalty. The law thereby has made it a crime to normalize relations with Israel, violating which can lead to punishment of death sentence or life imprisonment.

What does the law state?

On Thursday, the law titled “Criminalizing Normalization and Establishment of Relations with the Zionist Entity” was passed in the Iraqi Parliament. The law was passed with 275 lawmakers voting in favor of it in the Iraqi Assembly of 329 seats. As the parliament passed the law, it said that the legislation was “a true reflection of the will of the people”.

Iraq and Israel do not share any diplomatic relations with the former never recognizing the latter country. Iraqi citizens and companies are not allowed to visit Israel or hold any relations with any Israeli entity or individual.

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Law hailed as a “great achievement”

Shiite cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, whose party won majority of seats in the parliament in elections held last October. The leader, who along with his party are against the close ties between US and Israel, had proposed the law in parliament.

Calling the passing of law a “great achievement”, the cleric called for people of Iraq to come on streets to celebrate this great moment.

Iraqis rejoice the law

Hundreds of Iraqi people came down on the streets in Baghdad chanting slogans against Israel. They gathered in Tahrir Square after al-Sadr urged the people to celebrate on streets in a tweet.

It, however, hasn’t been clear how the law would be implemented as Iraq has never recognized Israel since its formation in 1948. Furthermore, the law also includes risks for companies in Iraq, a violation of the bill.

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