Why Is­rael blocked Tutu, judge

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Dr Clint Le Bruyns

AL­LAN Wol­man (Star Let­ters, July 3) ques­tions whether Arch­bishop (Emer­i­tus) Tutu and Jus­tice Richard Gold­stone were de­nied en­try into Is­rael.

It might in­ter­est Wol­man to know that both Tutu and Gold­stone – as heads of UN com­mis­sions of in­quiry in­ves­ti­gat­ing the death of Pales­tini­ans in 2006 and 2009 re­spec­tively – wished to travel to the Oc­cu­pied Pales­tinian Ter­ri­to­ries (West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza) – not Is­rael.

But since Is­rael con­trols all en­try into the OPT, they were forced to go through Is­raeli-con­trolled en­try points, and were de­nied en­try by Is­raeli au­thor­i­ties.

For 18 months Is­rael re­fused to grant visas to Tutu’s team. Tutu him­self was de­nied en­try visa by Is­rael, de­spite re­peated re­quests.

Is­rael’s re­fusal to co-op­er­ate with Gold­stone’s team meant that, as Ye­diot Aharonot (Ynet) states, “Gold­stone – a Jew with close ties to the Jewish state – had to en­ter Gaza via Egypt.”

Rather than rely on a mere Google search, this in­for­ma­tion is from “Is­rael’s most comprehensive, au­thor­i­ta­tive daily source in English for break­ing news and cur­rent events from Is­rael and the Jewish Di­as­pora.”

Is­rael is hid­ing its oc­cu­pa­tion of Pales­tinian life, the on­go­ing theft of Pales­tinian land through il­le­gal set­tle­ment con­struc­tion and its in­hu­mane block­ade of the Gaza Strip.

This is the rea­son that Ec­u­meni­cal Ac­com­pa­niers, church lead­ers and the­olo­gians, UN in­ves­ti­ga­tors, jour­nal­ists and mem­bers of hu­man rights NGOs have all been de­nied en­try to visit land that Is­rael oc­cu­pies and con­trols. Di­rec­tor: The­ol­ogy and De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme, UKZN

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