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Khaled is member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a group designated as terrorist by the European Union.
European Parliament hosts convicted terrorist Leila Khaled
26.09.2017, Israel and the World
"It is an utter disgrace that a convicted terrorist is given a platform in the European Parliament to spew her hateful message,’’ said the AJC Transatlantic Institute over the appearance on Tuesday in the European Parliament in Brussels of convicted terrorist Leila Khaled.
Khaled is member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a group designated as terrorist by the European Union and ‘’which has the blood of innocent victims on its hands," said Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute, the AJC’s EU office.
She was invited to speak in the EU parliament by two Spanish MEPs from the European Left group at a conference on ‘’the role of women in the Palestinian Popular Resistance.’’
Khaled was arrested while carrying two grenades by Israeli sky marshals in 1970 while attempting to hijack an El Al flight from Amsterdam with a partner, whom the security officers killed. British authorities released her in exchange for hostages from another hijacking a month after her arrest.
She had already hijacked an American passenger plane in 1969, landing it in Damascus, where the two Israeli passengers aboard were arrested for three months before they were traded for Syrian prisoners of war in Israeli jails.
"It would be a sad irony if Parliament, only days after crucially setting up a special committee on terrorism, were to welcome and lionize as a 'resistance fighter' a convicted terrorist who was captured in 1970 while hijacking a commercial airplane," Schwammenthal said in a statement.
"Khaled's appearance would diminish Parliament's standing as a democratic house for dialogue and peace. We thus urge European Parliament President Antonio Tajani to condemn this event and use all means at his disposal to prevent Khaled from entering the parliament's premises."
Danish Member of the European Parliament, who is Vice Chairman of the parliament’s foreign affairs committee, told JTA he had urged European Parliament president Antonio Tajani, to prevent Khaled from being hosted in parliament.
“I was told the parliament’s leadership will neither invite Palestinian terrorists nor prevent them from speaking in parliament if other parties do invite them,” said Vistisen, who is a member of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR).
This policy means “Palestinian terrorists are free to be hosted in parliament quite regularly,” he said. “It undermines the credibility of the European Parliament,” he added.