MEPs Martina Anderson and Neoklis Sylikiotis have held a constructive meeting with European Parliament President Martin Schulz where they discussed Israel's continued denial of access to Gaza for European Parliament delegations visiting Palestine.

At the meeting, which took place this morning and also included French MEP Edouard Martin from the S&D group, Martin Schulz agreed that the Israeli authorities should grant the EP delegation access to Gaza and that he would use his position to urge them to do so.

Irish MEP Martina Anderson, Chair of Parliament's Delegation for Relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council (DPLC), said: “It is part of the mandate of the DPLC to have democratic scrutiny over and assess the effectiveness of EU projects on the ground. Given that the EU is the largest donor to Palestine this is of particular importance. It is unacceptable for Israel to continue to deny access especially as they remain eligible for a number of EU funding programmes themselves.”

The MEPs also raised the situation of PLC member Khalida Jarrar who was arrested in her home by Israeli occupying forces. They handed President Schulz a copy of a letter signed by 58 MEPs which was sent to EU Foreign Affairs Chief Mogherini calling for the release of Khalida Jarrar.

Cypriot MEP Neoklis Sylikiotis said: “It is deplorable that Palestinian elected representatives like Khalida Jarrar are being arrested by occupying forces, this goes against democratic principles and is a further example of the unjust occupation which is further increasing tension in Palestine.”

The MEPs and President Schulz also discussed their concern for expanding settlements in Area C and the need to ensure Israel stops such breaches of international law that further undermine the viability of the two state solution.

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
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