Falk outward bound after barred from Israel
Falk outward bound after barred from IsraelIsrael News Photo: (illustrative)

A United Nations envoy who has accused Israel of treating Palestinian Authority Arabs in Gaza the way Nazis treated the Jews during World War II was denied entry to Israel at Ben Gurion International Airport on Sunday night.

Professor Richard Falk was put on a plane headed back out of the country early Monday morning after officials said he had failed to first coordinate his visit to the Jewish State with the government. Falk was scheduled to meet with PA officials in Ramallah this week, despite the fact that Israel had made it clear that he would not be allowed to enter the country.

"It is indeed rare that Israel bars entry in this manner," acknowledged Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Simona Helprin, "but we cannot accept a situation in which an envoy arrives about whom it is known in advance that he will not carry out his role properly."

Falk had arrived for his first visit as the UN’s Human Rights Council’s special investigator on the conditions of Arabs in the PA territories. He will report his findings in a document to be submitted to the United Nations in March 2009.

Last Tuesday, the envoy slammed Israel in a statement in which he accused the Jewish State of “wide-ranging violations of the fundamental human right to life” that he said were causing a “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza. He said Israel was “allowing only barely enough food and fuel to enter to stave off mass famine and disease.” 

Falk also accused Jerusalem of a policy of “collective punishment” for what he referred to as “political developments within the Gaza Strip” – presumably the landslide victory at the polls in 2006 of the Hamas terrorist organization, as well as its continued popularity in Gaza.