Israel bans member of European Parliament from visiting Palestine

Israel has banned Manuel Pineda, a Spanish communist politician from the United Left coalition who is a member of the European Parliament (MEP) and also the head of the delegation for EU-Palestine relations, from entering the country.

Pineda in a Twitter post announced that he had canceled the mission he was going to lead on Monday to assess the current situation of the Palestinians.

He also shared the rejection statement delivered by the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

According to “the information received from the competent authorities in Israel,” the ministry has decided “not to approve the arrival” of Pineda in the country, said the statement, without giving reasons.

Pineda accused Israel of “blocking the work of the European Parliament.”

“The mission was planned to meet with the Palestinian authorities and civil society, to see the consequences of the occupation on the daily life of the Palestinian population on the territory, as well as to see the effects of the policies of EU cooperation,” Pineda said.

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola also regretted the decision to refuse entry to Pineda to Israel.

“I will raise the issue directly with authorities concerned. Respect for MEPs and the European Parliament is essential for good relations,” Metsola said on Twitter.

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