The delegation is expected to leave on a mission to the occupied territories next week, but for the second time Tel Aviv is denying entry to its President Manu Pineda. Urgent meeting requested with Metsola to take measures against Israel
Author Simone De La Feld
From the envoy to Strasbourg – Manu Pineda, president of the EU delegation for relations with Palestine (Dpal), is not welcome in Israel. For the second time, the Foreign Ministry in Tel Aviv notified the MEP of the European Left of the ban on entry into the country, one week before the mission that the delegation is expected to conduct in Palestine.
“A unilateral and unacceptable decision”, commented Pineda from Strasbourg, who after having become aware of the measure against him requested an emergency meeting with the president of the Eurochamber, Roberta Metsola. The Spanish MEP will ask her “to take reciprocal measures against Israel”, i.e. the “ban on Israeli representatives and diplomats from entering the EU Parliament”. The situation is delicate, because Tel Aviv is a privileged partner of Brussels, which receives huge resources from the Union and participates in numerous European programmes. Despite this, for 13 years the Dpal delegation has not been able to visit the Gaza Strip and the occupied territories.
In May 2022, the Eurochamber had suspended the delegation’s mission due to the veto already imposed on Pineda, but this time it could go differently: “We absolutely must maintain the mission, the result of a year of work with the EU embassy in Jerusalem”, declared the president of the delegation, underlining that “the presence in Palestine, at a time when Israel is the most extremist government in recent years, is essential”.
The purpose of the mission, Rosa D’Amato, MEP of the Greens/Ale and member of the Dpal delegation explained to Eunews, “is perfectly in line with the prerogatives of this institution and with what is already happening in other countries”: to ascertain the treatment of Palestinian population by the Israeli authorities, meet civil society actors and monitor the humanitarian situation in the occupied territories. After all, even the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations, Francesca Albanese, has defined Israel’s violation of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people as “obstinate and continuous”. And the European Union itself has repeatedly condemned the Israeli authorities on the colonization policies of the Palestinian territory, as reiterated just under a month ago by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, in the last meeting with the Prime Minister Palestinian, Mohammad Shtayyeh.
After the various complaints of the delegation for relations with Palestine on Israeli obstructionism, according to D’Amato the time has come for “a strong stance”, if Metsola “has the image of the European Parliament at heart”. For the moment, Manu Pineda will have to settle for a meeting with the president’s cabinet chief, but he said he was “confident that Metsola will find space in his agenda to meet with the delegation”.
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