Non-Aligned meeting in Ramallah canceled after Israel stops some envoys


(JTA) — A meeting of representatives of the Non-Aligned Movement of countries was canceled after Israel would not allow the states with which it has no diplomatic relations to enter.

Israel would not allow delegates from Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Cuba to travel from Israel to the West Bank city of Ramallah, the site of the meeting, on Sunday.

"We have cleared entry for representatives of countries which have diplomatic relations with Israel and we have not cleared those which do not," Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told Reuters.

The Ramallah meeting had been scheduled to take place right after a preliminary meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement-Palestine Committee in Jordan, which was held to prepare for the Non-Aligned Movement summit meeting scheduled for Aug. 26 in Tehran.

South Africa, which is a member of the Non-Aligned Movement and has diplomatic relations with Israel, slammed Israel’s decision, saying in a statement that it was "a flagrant violation of the principles of international law and of Israel’s obligations as the Occupying Power." The statement reiterated South Africa’s "strong support for the Palestinian cause."

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