Malaysia are set to host the World Para Swimming Championships in July ©Getty Images

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) have claimed they are optimistic Israeli athletes will be able to attend the World Para Swimming Championships after concerns were raised they would not receive visas for Malaysia.

Nisim Sasportas, an Israeli official, claimed they had yet to receive assurances the country's athletes would be able to compete.

Malaysia does not have diplomatic relations with Israel, with the country having a pro-Palestine stance.

This was reflected recently when Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Bin Mohammad criticised Australia for recognising West Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

He stated "Jerusalem has always been Palestinian territory and it must remain in its current status".

The Israel Paralympic Committee have reportedly spent two months attempting to receive assurances their swimmers would be able to compete at the World Para Swimming Championships.

"For some time now we have been trying to guarantee our participation in the World Championships," Sasportas told Ynetnews.

"In principle, everyone says that it will work out, but we have still not received an invitation or visas.

"We are continuing to apply pressure.

"We have letters of support from the International Paralympics Committee, the European Paralympics Committee and the Olympic Athletes Committee, and hope that they allow the athletes and their security entourage to participate."

The IPC said they are working with organisers and the relevant Governments to help ensure athletes will be able to attend.

"The IPC is working closely with NPC Malaysia, the Local Organising Committee and the relevant national and state Governments to find a solution to this issue," an IPC spokesperson told insidethegames.

"The World Championships should be open to all eligible competing nations of the world and we are optimistic that Israeli Para-swimmers will be allowed to compete in Kuching by securing the relevant visas."

Israel were able to show their flag and have their national anthem played at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam last year after intervention by the International Judo Federation ©Getty Images
Israel were able to show their flag and have their national anthem played at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam last year after intervention by the International Judo Federation ©Getty Images

The Championships are scheduled to take place from July 29 to August 4 in Kuching.

Around 600 swimmers from 70 countries are expected to compete at the event, which is part of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics qualification process.

Israel has had visa issues in the sporting world in the past, with two windsurfers forced to withdraw from the 2016 Youth World Sailing Championship in Malaysia after being refused visas.

It was also claimed they had been told they could not compete under their country's flag and would not be able to display any Israeli symbol or logo on their surfboards or clothes.

The country's athletes have also been barred from events in mainly Islamic countries with which they have no relations.

This was most prominent at the International Judo Federation's (IJF) Abu Dhabi Grand Slam in 2017, when the Israeli national anthem and flag were banned amid a gold medal for their athlete Tal Flicker.

The IJF suspended the event along with the Tunis Grand Prix but last year's competition in the UAE city was restored after assurances were received and Israel competed on equal terms.

The International Olympic Committee announced in November that they had written to all International Federations to "reiterate its position" on political discrimination against countries at sporting events.

It followed high-profile controversies regarding Kosovo who faced stumbling blocks at both the World Karate Championships and the Women's Boxing World Championships.

Kosovo were unable to attend the latter event at all because their sole fighter Donjeta Sadiku was refused a visa to compete in New Delhi by Indian authorities.