Israel denied unduly detaining eight Colombian legislators on the border between Jordan and the West Bank, saying that they went through routine procedures to enter Palestinian territory.
"There was no incident. It was a routine matter. They asked the group some questions and, finally, let them cross," Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Ben Dor told Efe.
"Perhaps they could have been bothered," said the spokesman, who added that Israeli security personnel at the border crossing points "have a way of operating and have to ask some questions."
Colombian lawmaker Pedro Muvdi complained Sunday on Twitter that he had been "detained" for eight hours on the border with seven other legislators who were attending an official event in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Among the group were lawmakers Fabio Amin, Jimmy Sierra, Mario Suarez, Arleth Casado, Lidio Garcia, Joaquin Camelo and David Barguil, along with Muvdi and reporter Daniel Salgar, who works for the daily El Espectador.
Muvdi said the Israeli border officials took their passports and the cell phone belonging to Casado because he was "allegedly taking photos and taping videos," something that is not allowed by Israeli authorities at the crossing points.
Muvdi attributed the situation to Amin's Arab surname, saying that the Israelis took his passport "to investigate his background," although finally the group was allowed to cross into Palestinian territory. EFE