Israel has denied leading Irish politician Gerry Adams permission to enter Gaza, the Irish Journal website reported on Friday.
Adams, president of the Catholic Sinn Fein party, is currently on a three-day tour of Israel and Palestine. He had been invited to visit Gaza by the United Nations Works and Relief Agency.
"Preventing me from travelling to Gaza and talking to those citizens who have survived three Israeli assaults in the last decade and who are besieged and in need of massive aid to rebuild their shattered economy and society, runs contrary to the needs of a peace process and is very unhelpful," Adams said in response to the ban.
“The Israeli decision is a reminder of the imperative of supporting the Palestinian efforts to secure UN and international recognition of the Palestinian state," he added. "That campaign has seen some success in recent months and next month it will be debated in the European Parliament.”
Adams said that he had raised the issue of the recognition of a Palestinian state with the Irish prime minister in the Irish parliament, known as the Dáil, this week. The people of Palestine have “the right to national statehood,” he stressed.
The Irish politician met on Thursday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah and with Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog.
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