Tel Aviv denies entry to European delegation over support for boycott of Israel

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Israel announced on Monday it would not allow a European delegation to enter the country due to their support for a boycott of Israel, according to local media reports.

Seven members of the 20-person delegation set to visit Israel next week are barred from entering Israel, daily Haartez reported, citing the Interior Ministry’s Population, Immigration and Border Authority.

The delegation includes members of the European Parliament as well as French deputies and mayors, the report said.

It added that the decision was based on legislation passed by Israel’s parliament earlier this year that forbids entry visas or rights of residency to foreigners who supported an international campaign against Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians.

Haartez also cited Israeli Interior Minister Arye Dery and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan as saying that the European officials planned to visit jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti at Hadarim Prison.

The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement is a global campaign launched in 2005 to create more economic and political pressure on Israel as well as to end international support for Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians.

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