The Hamas government in Gaza on Friday condemned Bulgaria’s expulsion of a delegation on its behalf that was visiting the country, the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency reported.
The terror group reportedly blamed Israeli pressure for Bulgaria’s move.
Bulgarian security forces on Friday raided the hotel rooms of a visiting Hamas delegation, ordering them to leave the country, a party statement quoted by Ma’an said.
“We condemn this act, which reflects the scale of compliance with Zionist pressures,” Hamas spokesman Taher al-Nunu said, according to Ma’an.
Hamas leader and MP Yahya al-Abadseh said the Bulgarian government’s actions were contrary to all diplomatic norms.
Parliament chairman Ahmad Bahar called for Bulgaria to offer a formal apology, saying the visiting deputies were protected by parliamentary immunity.
On Wednesday Hamas said that its delegation arrived in Bulgaria to meet with political officials from the European country.
The visit was lauded by Hamas as a sign that the terror group was being increasingly welcomed across Europe.
However, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry formally denied the news about the visit. A spokeswoman for the ministry that no Hamas visit had been planned and that no Bulgarian politicians and diplomats have been scheduled to meet Hamas officials.
Hamas is recognized as a terror organization by the European Union, of which Bulgaria is a member.
The PLO ambassador in Bulgaria, Ahmed Madbouh, told Ma’an on Friday he was informed by officials in the Bulgarian foreign ministry that they “regret” the presence of the Hamas delegation and took a decision to ask them to leave.