NGO sorry for including Hamas

Hamas will not be allowed to participate in future Inter-Parliamentary Union meetings, Johnsonn tells Knesset speaker.

January 17, 2012 18:14
1 minute read.
Opening ceremony of IPU

Opening ceremony of IPU_311. (photo credit: Michael Buholzer/Reuters)

Hamas will not be allowed to participate in Inter-Parliamentary Union meetings, the NGO’s secretary- general, Anders Johnsson, told Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday.

Responding to a letter in which Rivlin said the Knesset is considering withdrawal from the IPU because Hamas participated in a discussion on human rights, Johnsson wrote he plans to keep his commitment and ban the terrorist organization.

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Johnsson explained the Hamas members came as part of a delegation and planned to describe Israel’s treatment of Palestinian prisoners. He said he is sorry the Palestinian delegation took advantage of the committee, but the IPU itself had no contact with Hamas.

In addition, Johnsson said the committee rejected many of the Palestinians’ declarations in the meeting. The IPU secretary-general also said he would raise the issue with the Human Rights Committee’s management.

Rivlin, who is currently on an official trip to Ireland, said the IPU should not give a terrorist organization a platform of any kind. However, he appreciates Johnsson’s immediate reaction and accepts his apology.

In a meeting between Rivlin and Johnsson in December, the IPU secretary-general said he will make sure official PA delegations do not include Hamas members.

The Knesset pays annual dues to the IPU, amounting to NIS 350,000.

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