Israel announced on Monday that the country will not allow the entry into the Jewish state of a group of leaders French because of their initiatives to promote the boycott of the country.

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Interior Minister Aryeh Deri announced in a statement that he will adopt the recommendation issued by Homeland Security Minister Gilad Erdan not to allow the entry of the group's 20 participants, including among them parliamentarians and French mayors as well as members of the European Parliament.

The group was scheduled to visit Israel and the Palestinian Authority territories between November 18 and 23, and announced that its main goal was to visit Marwan Barghouti and other Palestinian security prisoners in Israeli jails to offer them support.

The Israeli authorities therefore recommend in advance to the French elected officials "not to fly at all".

"This is not the first time I have refused entry to BDS activists," said Deri, "but this time it is a delegation of European leaders who come to work against Israel, which gives more weight [to this decision].

Israël refuse l'entrée aux élus français qui voulaient rencontrer des terroristes palestiniens
Marwan Barghouthi in court in 2002 (Credit: Flash90)

Erdan said he advocated a policy of fighting those who support the boycott campaign.

"We will not allow access to the territory to those who are actively calling Israel, especially when they ask to meet and reinforce a deadly affair like Barghouthi, thus inciting support for terrorism," he said. Israeli Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan in a statement of his services and the Ministry of the Interior.

"We are talking about political leaders who actively support the boycott against Israel and even promote it."

Barghouthi is the former head of Fatah's Tanzim army wing and was sentenced in Israel for founding the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, another terrorist group in Fatah.

He is currently serving five life sentences in an Israeli detention center for spewing terrorist attacks during the Second Intifada in the early 2000s.

Barghouthi remained very active at the political level behind bars, and is often referred to as one of the few likely successors of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

In April, Barghouthi launched a hunger strike to obtain better conditions for prisoners but also, according to experts, to demonstrate his political power and authority.