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Israel deports MEP after denying entry to occupied Palestinian territories

February 22, 2023 at 9:37 am

Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, 30 March 2017 [lleewu/Flickr]

Israel prevented a member of the European parliament from entering the occupied Palestinian territories on Monday, and then deported her to Spain.

Ana Miranda MEP landed at Ben Gurion Airport late on Monday. The international airport also serves the occupied Palestinian territories. She was with a delegation of MEPs who are involved in relations with Palestine.

“Israel did not permit me entry,” Miranda tweeted. She added that was put on the first flight to Madrid on Tuesday.

“It’s a diplomatic conflict [and] it’s intolerable that Israel exerts control over members of a delegation that’s going to Palestine, not going to Israel,” the MEP told Politico.

Miranda said that while being held at the airport for three hours, a female border guard repeatedly told her to “shut up”. When Miranda explained that she was an MEP, the guard replied: “What is the European Parliament? It’s nothing here.”

Parliament President Roberta Metsola described her “disappointment” on Twitter, saying that she will contact the Israeli authorities to demand answers, and also convene the leaders of political groups to discuss the next steps.

A spokesperson for the Israeli Mission to the EU claimed that the politician from the autonomous community of Galicia in Spain was denied entry because she once attempted to enter “Israel illegally”. This was a reference to Miranda’s participation in a 2015 flotilla that tried to break Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The MEPs are visiting the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Miranda said. They were denied access to Gaza.

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