Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams refused entry to Gaza
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has been refused entry in to Gaza.
The Louth TD was on a three-day visit to Israel and Palestine
Mr Adams said he was "deeply disappointed" at the decision to deny him entry.
In a statement he said: "The decision by the Israeli authorities to refuse me entry into Gaza is deeply disappointing, particularly as I was able to spend two days there in 2009.
“My purpose on this visit has been to listen. Primarily I am here to learn. When asked I have also outlined the broad strategic approach Sinn Fein took to the Irish Peace Process.
“Central to our success has been the imperative of dialogue. But it also required participants to take risks for peace and to be prepared to try and understand other points of view.
“Preventing me from travelling to a Gaza and talking to those citizens who have survived three Israeli assaults in the last decade, and who are besieged and in need of massive aid to rebuild their shattered economy and society, runs contrary to the needs of a peace process and is very unhelpful.
He added: “The Israeli decision is a reminder of the imperative of supporting the Palestinian efforts to secure UN and international recognition of the Palestinian state. That campaign has seen some success in recent months and next month it will be debated in the European Parliament.
“I raised the recognition of a Palestinian state with the Taoiseach this week in the Dáil and I intend to continue to raise it. The people of Palestine have the right to national statehood.
"It's not an issue for negotiation. It is a principle and a right. The international community has an obligation to support this and to uphold international law."
On Thursday Mr Adams met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for an hour of talks in Ramallah and later with Dr Mustafa Barghouti the leader of the Palestinian National Initiative.
Earlier that day he met with the Israeli Labour Party leader Isaac Herzog.
In September this year Sinn Fein's Martina Anderson and a delegation of politicians were also refused entry into Gaza.
The Londonderry MEP criticised the Israeli government for refusing the international delegation entry.
Further readingGerry Adams urges Dail stand-up for Gaza
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