A GROUP of Israeli scientists have been kicked out of a Spanish solar panel competition because they are based in so-called ‘occupied areas’ of the Palestinian West Bank.

Their exclusion from the state-funded competition next year has caused an angry reaction from Israel.

Spain is hosting the competition and therefore has the final say over the 20 contestants, who all come from different countries.

The group, who were to represent Israel in the event Solar Decathlon Europe event in Madrid, work at the Ariel University Centre of Samaria.

A housing ministry spokesman said: “All the ministry has done is apply EU policy. It does not recognise the occupation of the West Bank, which is where the university is.”