Paris, MINA – The French foreign ministry on Tuesday asked the Israeli authorities to allow its politicians to enter the country to visit the occupied territories and Palestinian prisoners.
“We want all French parliamentarians to have access to all of the interlocutors they wish to meet in order to conduct their fact-finding missions,” a spokesperson for the French foreign ministry stated in a press release on Tuesday.
“We are paying close attention to this matter with respect to Israel as with respect to all countries that French elected officials visit,” the spokesperson added, PIC repoprted.
Minister of Israel’s public security Gilad Erdan and minister of the interior Aryeh Deri announced last Monday that they had refused to grant entry permits to members of the European Parliament, members of the French parliament, and mayors of French cities because they supported a boycott campaign against Israel.
According to the announcement by Erdan’s spokesperson, the delegation was to have numbered 20 participants, and planned to visit Israel and the Palestinian Authority on November 19-23. The delegation members announced in advance that they planned to visit Marwan Barghouthi in Hadarim jail as well as French-Palestinian lawyer Salah Hamouri, who is also in an Israeli prison.
Erdan’s spokesperson said, “Minister Erdan examined the background material concerning them, and minister Deri also subsequently announced that entry of the delegation members would be prevented when they land. It was therefore suggested that the delegation members be informed of this ahead of time, so that they do not fly at all.”
For his part, Deri said, “This is not the first time that I have prevented the entry of boycott activists into Israel. This time, however, it is a delegation of senior European figures coming to act against Israel, and the matter is assuming a different character. After examining the background and the circumstances, I decided that there was no place for this delegation in Israel.”(R/R04/RS5)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)