The EU on Tuesday denounced as “deeply disappointing” and “surprising” Israel’s decision to turn back a Spanish MEP who had arrived for an official trip to the Palestinian territories.
“We deplore Israel’s decision to refuse Ms. Ana Miranda’s entry. This decision is deeply disappointing. It is also surprising, because her entry had been expressly authorized by the Israeli authorities”, declared Nabila Massrali, spokesman for the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell.
“Respect for all elected MEPs and the European Parliament is essential for good EU-Israel relations,” she added.
Ms Miranda denounced her expulsion as a “diplomatic affront” and a “lack of respect” towards the European Parliament, in a message on her Twitter account.
The Spanish Foreign Minister, José Manuel Albares, also expressed his indignation and demanded “explanations from the Israeli authorities”.
MEP Ana Miranda, a member of the Greens group in the European Parliament, arrived Monday evening at Israeli Ben Gurion airport, which also serves the Palestinian territories, with other members of the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with the Palestine.
“Israel didn’t allow me in” and is banking on the first flight to Madrid early on Tuesday, she said.
The EU and Israel relaunched their joint council last year, put on hold for ten years by Israel in response to European criticism of West Bank settlement expansion, deemed illegal under international law.
But the return of Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister to head the country’s most right-wing government has dimmed hopes of improving relations with Europe.
This article is originally published on arabnews.fr