Travel to Gaza Denied without Explanation – Statement from MdB Achim Kessler
Press Statement from MdB Achim Kessler who was denied access to Gaza by the Israeli Authorities
“Without any explanation, the Israeli government has denied my entry to the Gaza Strip, preventing me, as well as the German representative in the Palestinian Territories I am accompanied with, from a planned two-day visit to humanitarian institutions. Those institutions, enabled through German funds for developmental cooperation, provide health care and water.“
“I protest this restriction of my right as a democratically-elected representative to visit projects that are funded by German tax money,” states Achim Kessler, member of the German parliament and vicarious member of the DIE LINKE’s subcommittee for global health. “What applies to German military bases in Turkey must apply in equal measures to German humanitarian projects in Gaza. I request the German government to strongly object the Israeli government’s repeated denial of German delegates’ travel to Gaza.“
“I condemn the Israeli government’s prolonged efforts to hide the disastrous situation in Gaza from the eyes of the world. It is unbearable that children suffering from cancer, who have to be transported from Gaza to Jerusalem – the only place where they can be treated appropriately – cannot be accompanied by their parents. Children have died in the absence of their parents. It must not be the case that patients from Gaza are unable to attend vitally important appointments for treatment or surgery simply because Israeli authorities deny their travel permit or delay the process of their application until the after the date of the appointment,” Achim Kessler proceeds.
“The polluted water in Gaza is an immense health risk for the population,” he notes. “For this reason, I planned to visit a water plant whose building has been financed through 85 million euros from Germany. The water plant is of existential significance for the water supply in the Gaza Strip. It is not acceptable that the Israeli government repeatedly interferes with such projects through denying import permits for construction materials.“
“Despite this,” Achim Kessler persists, “I will continue to meet experts, among them officials, in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories to discuss health care. I aim to take the cancelled trip to Gaza at the next possible date.“