A European delegation was yesterday banned from visiting the occupied Palestinian territories because of its support for the Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, the Times of Israel reported.
Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri would not allow the 20-strong team, which includes French MPs and mayors and members of the European Parliament, to undergo a visit to Israel and the occupied West Bank on 19-23 November.
The group was due to visit Palestinian MP Marwan Barghouthi and other Palestinian prisoners who are being held in Israeli jails.
Deri said that the EU officials would be refused entry if they landed in Israel, and that he would also notify them in advance in the hope that they will not make the journey at all.
“This is not the first time I have denied entry to BDS activists,” the Israeli minister said, “but this time it is a delegation of European officials who are coming in order to work against Israel, which gives [the decision] more weight.”
“We will not allow entry to those who actively call for harming the State of Israel,” he said. “We are talking about political leaders who actively support the boycott against Israel and even promote it.”