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Israel Blocked EU Fact-Finding Delegation From Entering Gaza

posted on: Feb 8, 2015

An EU delegation of 13 left-wing politicians from five EU countries attempted to visit the Gaza Strip on a fact-finding mission to report on the results of actions by the IDF in the area in the recent seven week action, but were blocked by Israel from entering.  The various MEPs on the humanitarian mission were from Cyprus, France, Ireland, Portugal and Spain and were led by the Sinn Féin MEP, Martina Anderson.

Calling themselves the “United Left” delegation, the group arrived on Wednesday in Tel Aviv hoping to take part in a three day fact-finding mission to establish the consequences of the latest, seven week long military action by Israel against Gaza. The group was also hoping to meet with both Palestinian and Israeli civilians during their stay.

Another member of the delegation, Pablo Iglesias, who is the leader of the new Spanish “Podemos”  party, told the Spanish media that they were immediately blocked by Israel from entering the Gaza Strip. Iglesias told the local Spanish newspaper 20 Minutos that they had no idea why their entrance was refused. Stating that they were European Parliamentarians only wishing to see what could be done in the way of additional humanitarian aid, Iglesias felt that Israel should give them access to Gaza.

Anderson of Sinn Féin was completely taken aback by the refusal of Israel to let them enter the area, saying that the Israel government refused their entry on the ground that their visit was not directly concerned with providing humanitarian assistance in the region. Despite the fact that they were an official EU fact-finding delegation, Israel blocked them from entering the Gaza Strip.