Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided on Thursday to bar US Congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib from entering Israel and West Bank.
Barring Congresswoman would greatly damage Israel's relations with Democratic party, Netanyahu said.
Israeli TV Channel 12 reported the Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri announcing the ban of the Michigan and Minnesota congresswomen from going ahead with the trip to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, which was slated to take place this weekend.
The decision comes after weeks of speculation over whether the pair would be banned from entering Israel under the country’s 2017 anti-BDS law, which bans supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement from entering the country.
Both Omar and Tlaib have repeatedly advocated for US citizens’ “right to participate in boycotts in pursuit of civil and human rights”, introducing a resolution to the US’ House Judiciary Committee to this effect in July.
Though the resolution did not mention Israel or BDS by name, the initiative was seen as an attempt to counter efforts by multiple US states to ban support for the movement.
The congresswomen have also regularly criticised the Israeli government for its continued occupation of the Palestinian territories and called for “justice” and “lasting peace” in the besieged Gaza Strip.
Trump tweets allowing their visit is “great show of weakness.”
He added: “They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds. Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!”
It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds. Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2019
Palestine Post 24