Israel’s Minister of Strategic Affairs, Gilad Erdan, has expressed his dismay that Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) member Khaled Barakat was invited to, and spoke at the European Parliament.
Barakat, who also serves in the BDS-promoting NGO “Samidoun”, was invited to the parliament by Spanish MEP Manu Pineda.
In a letter to the President Sassoli, Minister Erdan urged, not for the first time, for a robust system to be set in place to ensure members of designated terrorist groups will not be allowed to enter the European Parliament in the future.
“The BDS is a movement that is important to us,” Barakat said in his speech to the European Parliament, “and it is important to note that the Israeli government ministry that fought us in Europe is the Ministry for Strategic Affairs under the leadership of the racist and right-wing Israeli minister Gilad Erdan.”
Joining Barakat was Mohammed Khatib, the European Coordinator for Samidoun. Both Barakat and Khatib were prominently featured in the Ministry of Strategic Affairs recent report “Terrorists in Suits” which revealed the close ties shared between BDS and the terrorist groups Hamas and the PFLP.
Erdan urged President Sassoli to consider condemning the exploitation of the parliament’s platform by terror-linked operatives, and pointed out MEP Pineda has expressed his support in the past for the PFLP and knew about Barakat’s connections to the terrorist group.
This was not the first time an EU-designated terrorist group member spoke at the European Parliament, with the PFLP operative and former airplane hijacker Leila Khaled doing so in 2017.
Following the incident, and after being contacted by Minister Erdan, former President of the EU Parliament Antonio Tajani declared he would work “to systematically deny access to all individuals” linked to terror from speaking at the EU Parliament.
In his letter to President Sassoli, Minister Erdan again pressed to “urgently put in place a robust system to ensure that members of designated terrorist organizations such as the PFLP are not allowed to enter the European Parliament in the future. Such unfortunate occurrences must not be allowed to repeat themselves. The European Parliament must never be a platform for terrorists,” he wrote.
A recently released report by the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, “Terrorists in Suits”, revealed over 100 ties were found between terrorist operatives and BDS organizations.
Barakat was included in the report for his roles in recruiting terrorist operatives, transferring terror funds from Lebanon to Belgium, and helping PFLP members receive training from the Iranian-backed terror group Hezbollah.
Barakat also serves as a senior member in the BDS-promoting NGO Samidoun, an organization which calls for the release of Palestinian “political prisoners” such as Ahmed Sa’adat, the Secretary-General of the PFLP and mastermind behind the assignation of MK Rehavem Ze’evi.
As part of the political campaign Minister Erdan led, the findings of Terrorists in Suits were sent to the German Minister of Interior Horst Seehofer with a request to take action against operatives and organizations mentioned in the report.
On June 22nd of this year German authorities announced that Barakat’s visa would not be renewed and that all of his political activities in the country were banned.
“Barakat, a PFLP Central Committee member was recently prohibited by German authorities from speaking at a political event due to his ties to terror,” Erdan stressed to Sassoli, adding, “and the European Parliament must not be used as a platform for members of murderous terrorist organizations.”