BRUSSELS, (PIC)– The European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza (ECESG) strongly condemned the Israeli rejection of an official visit next week by a European Parliament delegation to Gaza to check on the humanitarian situation in the strip.
The visit was scheduled to take place between 27th and 30th October 2013 to document the difficult living condition experienced by Palestinians in Gaza due to the ongoing siege, ECESG said.
The visit was planned to focus on vital public services such as schools, health centers and food distribution centers, the European Campaign added.
The ECESG stated that the Israeli decision to refuse the scheduled visit proves the Israeli arrogance and denies Israeli claims of easing the siege on Gaza.
For her part, the Chairperson of the European Parliament’s Delegation, Emer Costello, said “she is both astounded and dismayed at the decision of the Israeli authorities to refuse an official visit of the Delegation to Gaza.
“Despite interventions by the European Parliament President Schulz and other distinguished parliamentarians, the Israeli authorities are preventing elected members of an official delegation from paying a humanitarian visit to this ravaged and impoverished little country,” Costello said in a statement.
“Our visit was due to take place under the auspices of UNRWA, and clearly focused on vital public services,” she added.
For its part, the Palestinian Legislative Council condemned the Israeli decision to reject the European delegation’s official visit to Gaza; considering it a part of the Israeli daily violations of international laws.
Dr. Ahmed Bahar, First Deputy Chairman of the Council, has called on Arab and Islamic parliamentary organizations and international parliamentary unions to work on ending the siege on Gaza and prosecuting the Israeli war criminals for violating the international law by refusing access to elected Members of the European Parliament.
For his part, MP Jamal al-Khudari, head of the Popular Committee Against the Siege, denounced the Israeli decision, pointing out that it aims to prevent transfer of the suffering of the Palestinian people to the external world.