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Sinn Féin MEPs barred from entering Gaza during trip to Palestine

The group was told their visit was “not directly concerned with humanitarian assistance.”

Sinn Féin MEPs Matt Carthy, Martina Anderson and Lynn Boylan at the Gilo settlement in the West Bank.
Sinn Féin MEPs Matt Carthy, Martina Anderson and Lynn Boylan at the Gilo settlement in the West Bank.
Image: Sinn Féin

ISRAEL HAS BLOCKED a group of 13 MEPs, including three from Sinn Féin, from entering Gaza this morning.

Martina Anderson, Lynn Boylan and Matt Carthy arrived yesterday on a four-day trip to Palestine with the European United Left/Nordic Green Left group of MEPs.

They had intended to visit Gaza, but according to a statement from GUE/NGL, all 13 were denied entry.

Northern Ireland MEP Martina Anderson said:

The Israeli government refused us, 13 MEPs from six countries, entry into Gaza on the grounds that our visit to the region is ‘not directly concerned with the provision of humanitarian assistance.’
We want to go to Gaza to assess the situation on the ground first hand.
This would have enabled us to relay that information back to the European Parliament and push for greater provision of EU humanitarian aid to Gaza and an end to the blockade and occupation.

10629578_784685324923559_5803568722086209713_n Sinn Féin MEPs Matt Carthy, Martina Anderson and Lynn Boylan at a meeting with civil society groups in Jerusalem. Source: GUE/NGL via Facebook

The delegation went to Jerusalem today, meeting with civil society groups including Rabbis for Peace, Breaking the Silence and Combatants for Peace, as well as Haaretz journalist Amira Hass.

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A spokesperson from the Israeli National Police did not respond to a request for comment by publication time.

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Dan MacGuill

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