Protests against Israeli travel restrictions
Israel’s ambassador to Norway was Friday summoned to the Department of Foreign Affairs, where he received a protest from Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre against Israel’s refusing to allow two Norwegian delegations entry to the Gaza Strip.
By Rolleiv Solholm – Norway Post
A delegation of parlamentarians from the Socialist Left Party was to have left for Gaza via Israel on Sunday, but have been denied a visa. No reason was given, but the head of the delegation, Øystein Djupedal, says he believes Israel is not willing to allow outsiders to see the major destructions in Gaza.
The delegation was to have visited Norwegian aid workers and aid projects on the Gaza Strip, partly financed by money granted by the Norwegian Parliament (Storting).
A delegation from the Norwegian city of Tromsø, twin town to Gaza City, was also denied visa to Gaza. The Tromsø delegation was to have handed over a sum of money collected in their city for the support of a workshop in Gaza which is manufacturing artificial limbs.
The two delegations are already in Jerusalem, where they have been trying for several days to obtain the travel documents. Spokesman for the Norwegian Department of Foreign Affairs, Anders Rikter, says Israel’s refusal is unacceptable.