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French NGOs call for firm action against Israel over entry ban

An activist holds up a placard during a protest supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) [Heri Rakotomalala/Flickr]

The France-Palestine Solidarity Association (AFPS) and BDS-France have denounced the Israeli government’s decision to include them on a list of 21 foreign NGOs whose members are banned from entry.

AFPS, the largest French organisation supporting the Palestinian cause, issued a statement denouncing the Israeli government’s decision, describing it as “political” saying the Netanyahu government wants to silence all voices that uncover its daily policies and violations against the Palestinian people’s rights.

The association said the decision officially targets foreign citizens which is a flagrant violation of international conventions and treaties, stressing that it will not be intimidated and will continue its actions and activities in order to defend the Palestinian people’s rights and expose Israel to the French and European public.

Bertrand Heilbronn, the organisation’s president, called on the French government to respond firmly to Israel by calling for the immediate cancellation of these measures.

Read: BDS’ effect on Israel

Heilbronn added that his association will mobilise support of parliamentarians and politicians sympathetic with the Palestinian cause in the coming days, in order to pressure the Palace of Elysee and the French government to issue a statement condemning Israel’s criminal practices and actions against French citizens.

In November last year, the Israeli government banned a number of European Parliamentarians and French mayors from entering Israel under the pretext of their activity within the BDS movement and plans to meet Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouthi who is detained in Israeli prison.

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