Israel has prohibited the entry into the country of the president of the Delegation for EU-Palestinian relations, Manu Pineda, who has announced the suspension of the mission he was going to lead on Monday to assess the current situation of the Palestinians.

In a message posted on his Twitter account, Pineda, an MEP for the United Left, presented the rejection statement delivered by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In it, the Ministry indicates that, 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, without giving further details.

Pineda then explained that “the mission 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.

His party, United Left, has specified that the delegation’s visit “was the first organized after the pandemic and the war in Gaza” last year.

The group was going to visit Jerusalem, Ramallah, Hebron, Bethlehem, Nablus and the Gaza Strip, and a meeting with press organizations was also planned to understand the situation of the media, after the death of the Palestinian-American journalist Shirín abu Aklé , of the Al Jazeera chain, in an incident under investigation and that the Palestinian authorities and the media itself attribute to a shot fired by Israeli forces.

However, the MEP has indicated that, with the restriction of his entry, “the mission has been cancelled”, before accusing Israel of “blocking the work of the European Parliament”.

“He has already communicated his refusal to let us access Gaza and now he is raising the tension by preventing the entry to the entire territory of the chairmanship of the Delegation for Relations with Palestine,” he concluded.

In one of the first reactions to the refusal, the president of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, has regretted Israel’s decision. “I will raise the issue directly with the competent authorities. Respect for MEPs and the European Parliament is essential for good relations,” she said.

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