Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said Israeli military leaders should not be made welcome at the European Parliament.
Ms Anderson, the chair of the European Parliament’s delegation to the Palestine Legislative Council, said;
“Top Israeli military officer, Major General Yoav Mordechai was set to meet the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with Israel today but it was cancelled at the last minute.
“This man led the worst arm of the Israeli military in its assault on the people of Palestine when he was a battalion commander with the Golani Brigade, which led the Operation Cast Lead assault on Gaza in late 2008 and early 2009.
“More than 1,400 Palestinians were killed during that bombardment.
“As a result, this man should not be made welcome at the European Parliament. Put plainly, this man has the wholesale slaughter of Palestinian civilians on his hands, including men, women and children.
“Although the reasons for the cancellation of this meeting are not clear we welcome the fact it will not now take place but it should never have been organised in the first instance.
“Welcoming this man to the European Parliament would give legitimacy to the actions of the Israeli military against the Palestinian people.
“The international community, and the European Parliament in particular, have a responsibility to defend and uphold the rights of the Palestinian people in the face of human rights abuses carried out by Israel.”