“The decision has been made, the decision is not to allow them to enter,” Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely told Israel‘s Reshet Radio.
The Interior Minister Arye Deri made the decision Thursday. The U.S. lawmakers were supposed to start their visit Friday.
“It’s official: Israel will bar Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from entering Israel due to "suspected provocations and promotion of BDS” at this time the final decision is been drafted and passed for comments before a press release” prominent Israeli journalist Dana Weiss tweeted earlier in the day.
According to Israeli law, the country can ban entry of the supporters of BDS movement. Both Tlaib and Omar are vocal about their support for the movement.
They were planning to tour the occupied Palestinian territories, namely, West Bank and East Jerusalem. Their trip would also include a visit to Al-Aqsa mosque, a holy site for both Muslims and Jews and a site of continuous conflict.
Trump tells Rashida Tlaib to go back where she came. Now Israel plans to block her entrance, preventing her from visiting her Palestinian homeland+family, due to pressure from Trump. However, lets not forget, Israel regularly blocks Palestinian entrance so this is just not Trump.
The trip was organized by the U.S. NGO Miftah chaired by Palestinian activist and lawmaker Hanan Ashrawi.
Last month Israel’s ambassador to Washington Ron Dermer said his country would not deny entry to any lawmakers from the U.S. “out of respect for the U.S. Congress and the great alliance between Israel and America.”
However, the latest move by the country is “entirely predictable” according to Yousef Munayyer, the executive director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights.
The U.S. President Donald Trump reportedly told his advisors that the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should bar Tlaib and Omar which has allegedly influenced this latest decision.