Sunday, December 30, 2007
"A delegation of renowned Italians was denied entry into the Gaza Strip by Israeli forces on Friday. The delegation had been promoted by members of the Italian Parliament, academics and Christian dignitaries. Several members of Parliament were among those who traveled to Gaza on the delegation, but were denied entry at the Israeli-controlled border by Israeli troops.
The group had planned to meet with Palestinian officials and humanitarian organizations, to help raise awareness worldwide of the plight of the Palestinian population in Gaza. They called Gaza a 'concentration camp', in which the Palestinian population is completely imprisoned with no way in or out, under a total siege by Israeli forces that control every part of the border.
In response to the Israeli denial of entry to the Italian delegation, the Popular Committee Against the Siege, based in Gaza, issued a statement addressed to the Italian delegation: “The Popular Committee against Siege (PCAS) is very sorry for what happened to you, but this is an indication of the false claims of our oppressors. Israelis claim that they are democratic, but you have seen that they are barbarous by denying your entry to Gaza strip. This shows how Israeli democracy is false.”
The Gaza Strip remains under complete closure for the fourth straight month, with its population of 1.4 million Palestinians trapped inside, unable to move or carry out commerce with the rest of the world.
The Italian delegation also requested an audience with the Israeli Foreign Ministry to discuss the Gaza closure, but the Israeli officials refused to meet with them."