JERUSALEM — Irish nationalist leader Gerry Adams said Friday Israel has barred him from making a planned visit to the Gaza Strip during a three-day tour of the region.
Adams said he was not given a reason for the Israeli decision preventing Friday’s trip and added that he was disappointed by it.
Israel’s Defense Ministry, which controls access from Israel to the densely populated strip, was not immediately available for comment.
Adams’ Sinn Fein Party has long taken a pro-Palestinian position in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In July during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, Adams pulled what critics have termed a pro-Palestinian “publicity stunt,” asking his fellow parliamentarians to join him in standing for a minute of silence in solidarity with “the people of Gaza and the Middle East.” He made no specific mention of the citizens of Israel.
Members of the chamber acceded to Adam’s request. Some also held up small posters of the Palestinian flag.
“The other parties played along with varying degrees of enthusiasm, but some TDs [Members of Parliament] silently fumed at the irony of a party which supported a campaign of terror and murder against the civilian population of its own country attempting to make political capital from the suffering being inflicted on the people of Gaza,” wrote Stephen Collins in The Irish Times at the time.
Earlier in his trip to the region, Adams met with Issac Herzog, leader of Israel’s opposition Labor Party, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Adams said that while in Gaza, he had intended on meeting with NGOs, and visiting hospitals and other public institutions.
Renee Ghert-Zand contributed to this report.