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Home Politics 19/October/2022 02:29 PM

US rejects Israel visa waiver request because the latter does not extend reciprocal free visa for US citizens

US rejects Israel visa waiver request because the latter does not extend reciprocal free visa for US citizens
A US visa.

TEL AVIV, Wednesday, October 19, 2022 (WAFA) – The United States announced that Israel does not meet the requirements of the visa waiver program because it has failed to extend reciprocal visa-free travel privileges to all US citizens and nationals at Israeli points of entry, including Ben Gurion Airport, today said the Israeli daily Haaretz.

Israel's discrimination against Americans of Palestinian origin as well as against Arabs and Muslims with US citizenship is the main reason for the US decision, it said.

The US Department of Homeland Security said Israel has failed to comply with the necessary requirements to enter the visa waiver program due to its failure to enforce reciprocity under which the citizens of each country can visit the other with around the same level of ease.

One of the latest US lawmakers to speak out on the issue was Don Beyer, who circulated a letter to other lawmakers to sign. Last year, lawmaker Rashida Tlaib also wrote a letter outlining her concerns about Israel entering the visa waiver program, which was reported by Jewish Insider.

In his letter addressed to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Beyer said: “In light of that position, it is clear that Israel cannot and should not be admitted into the visa waiver program under the status quo.”

Beyer called on his country in the letter to “press Israel to withdraw the new discriminatory restrictions imposed by the Israeli military for entry into the West Bank; to assure reciprocity for all US citizens, and to open a hotline that publishes monthly reports for future visa waiver program evaluations.”

K.F./M.K.

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