The Spanish member of the European Parliament would travel to the occupied Palestinian territories with the EU legislators to review the situation on the ground after the murder of the Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.
A European Parliament delegation has been forced to cancel a trip to the occupied Palestinian territories after the group’s president, Manu Pineda, was denied entry to Israel.
The Spanish MEP and president of the parliamentary delegation for relations with Palestine was scheduled to travel to the occupied Palestinian territories with a group of European legislators to review the situation on the ground after the murder of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.
Abu Akleh was shot dead by Israeli soldiers while reporting on an Israeli military incursion into Jenin in the occupied West Bank.
“Israel is blocking the work of the European Parliament,” Pineda said on Sunday, sharing a decision by the Israeli Foreign Ministry denying him entry into the country, adding that the delegation had also been denied access to the Gaza Strip under siege.
However, Israel forbids my entry as President of the Delegation.
The mission has been cancelled. pic.twitter.com/5rjaKxKaBQ
-Manu Pineda🔻 (@ManuPineda) May 22, 2022
The Foreign Ministry letter said Pineda’s entry was not approved due to “information received from the competent authorities in Israel.”
Delegation member Grace O’Sullivan said Israel’s decision “was an unprecedented move” and that the group would ask for a strong response from European Parliament President Roberta Metsola.
Metsola, who is also visiting Israel and Palestine, said on Twitter that he regretted the decision and would “raise the issue directly with the appropriate authorities.”
The European Parliament delegation for relations with Palestine has 18 members and informs the European Union legislator about political, economic and human rights developments in the territory.
The delegation to Palestine also reviews EU-funded projects such as schools and shelters, as well as maintaining relations with political and civic leaders.
I will raise the matter directly with the appropriate authorities.
Respect for MEPs and the European Parliament is essential for good relations.
— Roberta Metsola (@EP_President) May 22, 2022