The Israeli authorities have denied a delegation of six Belgian MPs entry into the blockaded Gaza Strip to visit local NGOs, Wednesday this week.
The delegation, which represents different political parties in Belgium, said in a statement on Wednesday that they had arranged the visit for the day before with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
They had hoped to meet with civil society organizations and take field tours across the beleaguered enclave at the request of the Belgian parliament
After being denied, the MPs criticised the “illegal” Israel measure and said it contravened international conventions. They also suggested that Israel might be attempting “to hide something,” and said they had informed the Belgian government of “the unacceptable situation.”
“Israel has no right to act in such way which violates international conventions,” the MPs said in their statement.
Earlier this year, Belgium pledged €2.45 million ($2.6 million) to UNRWA “in support of the agency’s services for Palestine refugees in the occupied Palestinian territory.”
It adds to some $90 million Belgium has donated to the agency since 2007.
The delegation was lead by Gunel Grufenis of the Belgium Socialist party, and included Van Kwecenuorn, representative of the Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats party, Jean Marc Noly, representative of the Belgian Green party, David Clarnival, representative of the Reform Movement party, Brydia Frogovils, representative of Christian Democratic and Flemish party and Beit Dobren, representative of the New Flemish Alliance party.
The Palestinian MP and head of the popular committee against the Gaza siege, Jamal Khudari strongly condemned the Israeli ban. He described Israel’s decision as part of its siege on the Strip that deepens the suffering of Gaza people.
Khudari also called on the international community and the European parliaments to exert more pressures on Israel to end Gaza siege.