A delegation from the European Parliament was blocked by the Israeli authorities from entering Gaza on Tuesday, the EU said in a statement. The lawmakers, who are part of the working group of the European Parliament Delegation for relations with Palestine, arrived in Jerusalem on Monday and was due to visit Gaza to assess the destruction caused in the 2014 conflict and the reconstruction efforts funded by the European Union.
According to the statement, a copy of which was sent to MEMO’s reporter in Gaza, no justification was given to explain the refusal.
Delegation Chair Irish MEP Martina Anderson stated: “The systematic denial by Israel of access to Gaza to European Parliament delegations is unacceptable. The European Parliament has not been able to access Gaza since 2011.”
Anderson added: “This raises questions: what does the Israeli government aim to hide? We shall not give up on the Gazan people.”
The Delegation was led by Anderson and included six other lawmakers: Margrete Auken (Vice-Chair of Delegation, Greens), Roza Thun (EPP), Eugen Freund (S&D), Patrick Le Hyaric (GUE/NGL), Rosa D’Amato (EFDD) and Konstantinos Papadakis (NI).