Israeli man entered with valid French passport, says Saifuddin

PORT KLANG: The Israeli man who was arrested last Wednesday (March 27) had entered the country using a valid French passport.

Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution confirmed the matter and stated that there is no issue regarding whether the man successfully presented valid travel documents to deceive the authorities or if there are enforcement weaknesses at the country's entry points.

Now, there is an attempt to portray as if our monitoring is not thorough, and there is a loophole in how he entered.

"Some quarters have questioned why the passport was issued in Tel Aviv. However, there is a French Embassy there, and when he wanted to obtain his passport, he would go to the embassy.

"The same goes for me. If I live in Australia, the passport issuing office would be in Melbourne. So, I am a Malaysian citizen, but my passport was issued at the Australian passport office. The same goes for the Israeli man."

"From the perspective of our immigration system and immigration laws, if the travel document is valid and we have no issues with the country issuing the travel document, we allow entry," he said.

As such, Saifuddin calls for the public to give full confidence in the police investigation conducted.

"I request that the people give their confidence to the level of professionalism exhibited by the police in conducting their investigation."

"I have also been briefed on the progress from time to time (regarding the investigations) and that their achievements are commendable so far," he told reporters at a press conference.

Saifuddin also said that the case involving the Israeli man was a case in point regarding the government's strict measures against dual-citizenship.

"The suspect was on a valid French passport and that there is a possibility that he is Israeli and holds a French passport.

"That's why during debates regarding the amendment of the constitution on dual citizenship, we don't recognise it. Now you see why we are strict about it," he said.

When asked by reporters about the threats on Palestinians living in the country, Saifuddin assured that all lives matter, irrespective of their nationalities.

"The responsibility of the police is toward all lives in the country. Their task is to ensure peace, order, and the safety of all human lives. That's our assurance; if Palestinians living in the country have valid concerns, of course, the police will provide their attention to them," Saifuddin said.

Last week, an Israeli man identified as Shalom Avitan was arrested by the police at a hotel in Jalan Ampang, where he was also found with six pistols and 200 rounds of ammunition.

The six firearms found in the suspect's hotel room are a Glock 19 Marine, a Glock 17 Gen 4, a Smith and Wesson, a Sig Sauer, and a Stoeger, along with 200 rounds of ammunition placed in his bag.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Razarudin was reported saying that based on interrogations, the suspect claimed he came to this country to kill a fellow citizen allegedly related to a family issue, but the police do not believe his claim.

However, the police are still conducting investigations and it is possible that the suspect had other agendas for coming to this country.

Following that, the police were reported to have also arrested three Malaysian citizens, including a married couple suspected of supplying firearms to the Israeli man.

The couple, aged 42 and 40, were arrested by a team of officers and members of the Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department (CID), at a Ramadan bazaar in Kuala Selangor yesterday.

Razarudin was also reported to have said that police have tightened up security, especially for the Prime Minister and the King, following the arrest, as the conflict between Palestine and Israel is ongoing.

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