Palestinian Minister visa revoked, denied entry to Holland, expelled from EU

Belgian police held Bassam Naim, Palestinian Youth and Sports Minister, on board his plane 04 May 2007 after the Netherlands withdrew his entry visa for being a senior member of Hamas. The European Union, the United States and Australia all consider Hamas to be a terrorist organization.

Naim was on a flight from Cairo to Brussels when he was detained. He was granted a visa in Tel Aviv by the Dutch embassy, but it was withdrawn on 03 May 2007 after checks revealed that he was a member of Hamas.

According to a Dutch spokesman, he was told that his visa was cancelled "from that moment" and that he would have no way of entering the Netherlands legally.

While Hamas won elections in Palestine recently and is trying to position itself as a political party on the world stage. However, it is on the official European Union list of terror organizations and has refused to recognize Israel as of yet.

Naim tried to board a flight bound for Amsterdam on 03, May but was turned away. He then managed to get on an Egyptair flight from Cairo to Brussels on 04 May, where he was detained after landing by Belgian police.

The Dutch spokesman said he would be returned on the first available flight.


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