Israel bars Belgian minister from Gaza
Jerusalem: Israel has barred the Belgian Development Minister from going to the Gaza Strip, saying his visit would give legitimacy to the Islamist Hamas movement running the territory.
"These kinds of visits can only strengthen Hamas and give it legitimacy," Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said in a statement.
"We allow humanitarian assistance to enter Gaza, including food and medication, but we will not allow political visits that bolster Hamas," he said yesterday.
Belgian Cooperation and Development Minister Charles Michel protested that Israel`s action was "unacceptable" and said he would take the matter to the European Union, Belgium`s private RTL-TVI television station reported.
Israel and Egypt have sealed Gaza off from all but vital goods since the Islamist movement seized power in June 2007 after a week of bloody street battles with forces loyal to the Western-backed Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.
Belgium has pledged funds for UN agencies to help Palestinian refugees to build schools in Gaza but construction has not begun because of Israel`s obstruction.
Amnesty International last week accused Israel of "collectively punishing" the population of Gaza with border closures tightened after the Hamas takeover.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Exclusive: Chat with 'Jazbaa' stars Aishwarya Rai and Irrfan Khan!
- Delhi government to add environment tax in electricity bill
- Shaheed Express train's freight coach catches fire on Ludhiana railway station
- AAP govt suggests four-fold hike in MLAs salaries
- Megastar Amitabh Bachchan chased by a tiger!
- India vs South Africa 2015: 3rd T20I - Preview
- Modi govt turns down IAF's request for more foreign fighter planes, pushes for Made-in-India Tejas
- Unbelievable! Crops destroyed for Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi's rally in Karnataka
- Navjot Singh Sidhu diagnosed with DVT: Know about this life threatening disease!
- Asaduddin Owaisi's brother Akbaruddin in trouble over poll speech, arrest warrant issued