First Published: 2017-11-13

Israel bars French MPs planning to visit jailed Palestinian leader
Israeli authorities say they will bar entry to Israel of group of French politicians seeking to visit Marwan Barghouti who is serving five life sentences.
Middle East Online

Supporters call Barghouti the "Palestinian Mandela"

JERUSALEM - Israeli authorities said Monday they would bar entry to the country of a group of French politicians seeking to visit jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti.

The decision was part of controversial efforts by Israel's government to bar supporters of a boycott of the country over its occupation of Palestinian territory.

Israel's interior and public security ministries in a joint statement suggested that the delegation "not fly at all".

Politicians from France's Communist party and from the hard-left France Unbowed party, including four parliament members, said they planned to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories from November 18-23.

The delegation hoped to meet Barghouti, a prominent Palestinian leader and prisoner who is serving five life sentences for murder over his role in the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising, of 2000 to 2005.

Supporters say he has been unjustly imprisoned by Israel and call Barghouti the "Palestinian Mandela".

The delegation also wanted to visit French-Palestinian lawyer Salah Hamouri, who has been held without charge by Israel since August 23 under a policy known as administrative detention.

Israel passed legislation in March banning entry to foreigners who support boycotting the country or its settlements, which are seen as illegal under international law.

It sees the boycott movement as a strategic threat and accuses it of anti-Semitism -- a claim activists deny, saying they only want to see an end to Israel's occupation.

 

Saudi finalises drone regulation after security alarm

Israel rubbishes claims Mossad behind Malaysia assassination

Iran vows to resume enrichment if US quits nuclear deal

Mass grave discovered under Raqa football pitch

Can Arab satellite TV catch up with social media?

UAE accuses Qatari jets of ‘chasing’ passenger flight

Syrian refugees are not going home anytime soon

Resumption of direct flights from Moscow brings hope to Egypt’s tourism sector

Will Lebanon have more women MPs after May 6 poll?

Saudi shoots down ‘toy drone’

UN Security Council meets over Syria in Sweden

Turkish government rejects criticism of election campaign

Condemnation after Gaza teenager killed by Israeli soldiers

Syrian rebels agree to leave new area outside Damascus

Rouhani slams officials' 'vow of silence' in face of protests

Family accuses Israel of killing Palestinian in Malaysia

Natalie Portman says backed out of Israel prize over Netanyahu

Morocco, EU start talks on new fisheries deal

FIFA to return to Morocco to check hotels, stadiums

Turkey in shock after violent Istanbul derby

Iraq pays first war reparations to Kuwait since 2014

Fiery kites adopted as new tactic by Gaza protesters

Romanian president slams plan to move Israel embassy

Western strikes on Syria bring no change whatsoever

Trump criticises OPEC for high oil prices

Syria says rebels south of capital surrender

Market has capacity to absorb higher oil prices: Saudi minister

Putin 'ready' for Trump summit

Saudi Arabia to host first public film screening

HRW criticises Lebanon for evicting Syria refugees

Saudi says intercepted ballistic missile from Yemen

Russia mulls supplying S-300 missile systems to Syria

US has 'concerns' about Turkey holding fair vote under state of emergency

Bashir fires Sudan foreign minister

Washington: Assad still has 'limited' chemical capability

European MPs urge US not to scrap Iran deal

Oil price soars to highest level in years

Two more pro-Kurdish MPs stripped of Turkey seats

Oil theft 'costing Libya over $750 million annually'

Turkey's snap polls: bold gambit or checkmate for Erdogan?

Iran arrests senior official over public concert

Bahrain sentences 24 to jail, strips citizenship

UN experts urge Iran to cancel Kurd's death sentence

Moderate quake strikes near Iran nuclear power plant

Syria regime forces caught in surprise IS attack