MEP mission to Palestine to highlight plight of prisoners, forced displacement & Jerusalem question
GUE/NGL MEPs Neoklis Sylikiotis (Cyprus) - chair of the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with Palestine (D-PAL) - Eleonora Forenza (Italy) and Josu Juaristi (Basque country) tomorrow begin a four-day mission of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, to meet with Palestinian officials, civil society organisations, human rights defenders and families of victims.
The mission was denied entry to the Gaza Strip. MEPs have condemned Israel’s denial of permits, part of Israel’s illegal blockade policy that amounts to collective punishment of Gaza's 2-million Palestinian residents, the majority of them children.
The group will meet with members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) and with Dr. Mohammad Shtayyeh, director of the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction (PECDAR), among other officials of the Palestinian Authority. Coming on the heels of a historic mass hunger strike - the largest in Palestinian history - MEPs will visit the families of Palestinian political prisoners, to highlight their unfair conditions and call for their release.
The mission will go to Khan el Ahmar, located in the so-called Area C of the West Bank on the periphery of Jerusalem. Residents there are target of systematic demolitions by the Israeli army, including EU-funded structures such as schools and homes, with the goal of expanding Israeli settlements. They will also receive a briefing from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), followed by a visit to Aida refugee camp and the Palestinian city of Hebron.
Please see here full programme.