Seven members of a 20-member delegation of European Parliament members and mayors were barred entry by Israel, which alleged they had called for a boycott.
“[These are] senior politicians who consistently support the boycott against Israel and promote it. We will not permit entry to those who actively call to harm the State of Israel.”
— Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan
Israel announced on Monday it would deny entry to seven members of a delegation of European officials using the recently approved legislation that bars visits by anti-Israel boycott activists.
The 20-member delegation, which was set to arrive in Israel next week, was to include European Parliament members and French mayors. The Interior Ministry’s Population, Immigration and Border Authority said seven of the 20 delegation members will be barred from entering Israel, adding it obtained information that they had called for a boycott of Israel.
According to Interior Minister Arye Dery and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, the purpose of the visit was to meet with the jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti at Hadarim Prison, “as part of their support for Barghouti and Palestinian prisoners.”
Barghouti was convicted in 2004 of a series of terror-related murders during the second Palestinian intifada and is currently serving five life sentences.