A delegation of the European Parliament (EP), led by Chair of the Delegation for relations with Palestine, Manuel Pineda, is starting today its official mission to Palestine.
It will visit East Jerusalem, Ramallah, Bethlehem and Hebron, as well as the Shu’afat refugee camp.
The EP mission had also planned to travel to Gaza, wherein the European Union provides very significant humanitarian and development assistance. Unfortunately, as has happened systematically over the past years, the Israeli authorities have refused to let the EP mission into the Strip, said an EP press release.
The mission will discuss the situation in Gaza with key interlocutors, but from the West Bank only.
“The fact that Israel prevents the EP delegation to carry out its official mission and meet its Palestinian interlocutors is not only in breach of international law, but also an unacceptable sign of defiance towards the European citizens, whom our EP is representing,” said Pineda.
The EP mission should call on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, Foreign Minister Riyad Al Malki, and former chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, said the release.
The EP mission will also meet with several of their counterparts from the former Palestinian Legislative Council and discuss with the Palestinian Central Elections Commission the prospects of the future presidential and legislative elections.
It will also meet with a variety of Palestinian citizens and civil society representatives, notably women organizations and human right defenders.