Israel Blocks MEP from Official European Parliament Visit to Occupied Palestine

Israel Blocks MEP from Official European Parliament Visit to Occupied Palestine

Spanish MEP Manu Pineda

Israel has once again blocked the participation of the Chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation for relations with Palestine (DPAL), Manu Pineda, in an official Parliamentary visit to Palestine.

Left MEP Pineda (Izquierda Unida, Spain), was due to go on mission next week with eight other MEPs from four different parliamentary groups. However, for the second time in less than a year, Israeli occupation authorities have denied him entry, preventing him from doing his work as the Parliament’s top representative on Palestinian affairs.

Pineda informed Parliament’s President, Roberta Metsola, of the decision as notified earlier this week by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and asked for an urgent meeting to resolve the situation and demand explanations.

“It is unusual, to say the least, that a country that participates in numerous EU programmes and is considered a key partner should prevent our Delegation from carrying out its work normally,” Pineda says.

As DPAL Chair, Pineda asked the other MEPs who were to take part in the official mission to go ahead with the visit. “We believe that the presence of our Delegation in Palestine, at a time like this, with the most extremist Israeli government in recent years, is indispensable,” he added.

Pineda worked for years in the Gaza Strip and experienced two wars led by the Israeli army that resulted in thousands of deaths and the destruction of vital infrastructure.

“There is no doubt that Israel wants to veto any hint of international solidarity with the Palestinian people, something the EU should stop being silent about”, added Pineda.

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