The French government has asked Israeli authorities to stop denying entry to elected officials, reported Haaretz, after the mayor of a Paris suburb was turned away at the border.
Patrice Leclerc, mayor of Gennevilliers, was detained for several hours on the crossing between Jordan and the Israeli-occupied West Bank, before being denied entry.
Israeli officials claimed that Leclerc was excluded after being identified by the Strategic Affairs Ministry as a support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.
“The decision not to let him into the country was made for a series of reasons in connection to his activity in the BDS movement and his promotion of boycotts against Israel,” the ministry said.
“We will not allow those who act against Israel to enter and incite against the state,” Interior Minister Ayre Dery said in a statement.
According to the French Foreign Ministry, Haaretz reported, Leclerc’s “planned visit was part of attempts to supervise implementation of international programmes in the Palestinian territories.”
In January, Leclerc announced that Gennevilliers city council would recognise “the state of Palestine”, a symbolic gesture later rescinded under pressure from the regional government.