‘Disappointment’ in Brussels after Israel expels MEP on official visit to Palestine – POLITICO

EU leaders expressed shock and remorse Tuesday after the Israeli authorities barred a member of the European Parliament from getting into the nation on an official visit and deported her to Spain.

Ana Miranda, a Galician MEP in the Greens group, landed at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv Monday night together with eight different lawmakers from two European Parliament delegations, one for Israel and one for Palestine. On the orders of the Israeli inside ministry, Miranda was put on a flight to Madrid.

“It’s a diplomatic battle [and] it’s insupportable that Israel exerts management over members of a delegation that’s going to Palestine, not going to Israel,” Miranda instructed POLITICO.


A spokesperson for the Israeli Mission to the EU stated: “The one cause that she was not allowed to enter is the difficulty that she tried to enter [Israel] illegally.” This referred to Miranda’s participation in a flotilla in 2015 that aimed to break the naval blockade of Gaza by Israel.

Israel has not too long ago elected a far-right coalition government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Miranda stated that whereas being held on the airport for 3 hours, a feminine border management guard repeatedly instructed her to “shut up,” and that when Miranda defined that she was an MEP, the individual replied: “What’s the European Parliament? It’s nothing right here.”

Miranda stated she didn’t disguise her participation in the flotilla when questioned.

The four-day visit by MEPs this week will embody journeys to the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories of the West Financial institution and East Jerusalem, the place the Palestinian Authority has restricted autonomy. The delegation was denied entry to Gaza, Miranda stated.

Parliament President Roberta Metsola described her “disappointment” on Twitter, saying she is going to contact the Israeli authorities to demand solutions, and likewise convene the leaders of political teams to talk about the subsequent steps.

Relations between Jerusalem and the Parliament have been cordial as of late, with the establishment having hosted Israeli President Isaac Herzog to mark Holocaust Memorial Day in January. Metsola, a Maltese MEP from the center-right European Individuals’s Celebration, visited Israel in May final yr.

Miranda was given the go-ahead to enter Israel, in accordance to emails dated February 2 and 14 between the EU’s Exterior Motion Service in Israel and the nation’s international affairs ministry, seen in full by POLITICO. The emails acknowledged that Manu Pineda, a Spanish far-left MEP who chairs the Palestine delegation, was barred entry, however made no point out of banning Miranda from getting into. Miranda stated it was a “lie” that she was nonetheless banned from getting into Israel. “In any other case they’d not have approved me [to travel],” she wrote in a follow-up message.

The spokesperson for the Israeli Mission to the EU stated Pineda — who didn’t journey to Israel with the remainder of his delegation — helps Hamas, designated as a terrorist group in the EU. The EU’s Normal Court docket has dominated that Hamas ought to be faraway from this record, a choice that’s at present suspended pending an attraction by the Council.

Pineda instructed POLITICO in a press release: “I’m not a Hamas supporter, regardless of how a lot the Israeli regime insists.”

He continued: “The Israeli regime can proceed to insist on its alibi of photographs and Hamas. However in actuality what they’re doing at this time is stopping my work as chair of the Delegation for relations with Palestine and stopping the correct functioning of this delegation, due to my previous as a human rights activist in Gaza.

“Israel has a really severe human rights downside and doesn’t need anybody to witness the killings, compelled displacements, unlawful settlements and systematic arrests,” he added.


Pineda’s Left group has demanded that the Parliament take “reciprocal measures” for Israel. He stated because of this no Israeli politician or diplomat ought to be allowed entry.

“Respect for all elected MEPs and the European Parliament is crucial for good EU-Israel relations,” stated Nabila Massrali, the European Fee’s spokesperson for international affairs. “This choice is deeply disappointing, it is usually shocking.”

Gregorio Sorgi contributed reporting.

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button