The speaker for the Danish parliament is set to visit the West Bank and the Gaza Strip but will not visit Israel.
The website for Israel’s channel 10 reported Thursday night that Mogens Lykketoft, who is scheduled to arrive in Ramallah and Gaza during the weekend, week, will not meet any Israeli officials during the visit.
According to the report, Lykketoft two months ago asked to meet his Israeli counterpart, Yuli Edelstein, but the Israeli lawmaker replied he would not be able to meet Lykketoft because of prior engagements. Lykketoft did not reply and proceeded to plan the visit without including any meetings in Israel.
Edelstein said that he viewed Lykketoft’s actions as “very serious,” adding: “I fail to see how visiting Gaza, which is under Hamas’ control, is compatible with Denmark’s commitment to democratic values.”
In an interview last month for the Jydske Vestkysten daily, Lykketoft, who is a member of Denmark’s Social Democrats party, said Ariel Sharon, the former Israeli prime minister who had just died, was “a brutal military leader who was not interested in reaching an agreement with the Palestinians.”