Likud MK Reuven Rivlin.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem / The Jerusalem Post)
Parliamentary missions to the Middle East that visit Gaza may not come to the
Knesset, Speaker Reuven Rivlin said on Monday.
Lord Frank Judd, of the
British House of Lords, is expected to lead an Inter- Parliamentary Union
mission to the region next month to learn about the Israeli-Palestinian
The group is planning to enter Gaza via Egypt; after that, it
will visit Israel and Ramallah.
Rivlin notified the IPU that missions
visiting Gaza will not be welcome in the Knesset and cannot meet MKs or Israeli
“Gaza is ruled by Hamas, which is recognized and defined by the
Quartet and the international community as a terrorist group,” he
In addition, Rivlin plans to reconsider Israel’s membership in
the organization if it continues to send groups to Gaza. “Visiting Gaza does not
indicate good relations between the Knesset and the IPU,” he
According to the IPU, in order to understand the situation in the
region, they must meet with both Palestinian factions – in Gaza and the West
Bank – and no official meetings are planned with Hamas members.
Knesset expressed doubt that the group will not visit Hamas officials, adding
that some of the visiting parliamentarians have connections with Hamas.