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'Knesset will boycott missions that visit Gaza'
By LAHAV HARKOV
25/12/2012
Speaker Rivlin says Parliamentary missions to the Middle East that visit Gaza may not come to the Knesset.
 
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 conflict.

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 diplomats.

“Gaza is ruled by Hamas, which is recognized and defined by the Quartet and the international community as a terrorist group,” he explained.

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 said.

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.

The Knesset expressed doubt that the group will not visit Hamas officials, adding that some of the visiting parliamentarians have connections with Hamas.
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