RAMALLAH, Friday, August 16, 2019 (WAFA) – Israeli occupation authorities announced today that they will allow US congresswoman Rashida Tlaib to visit her family in the occupied West Bank on “humanitarian” grounds, hours after the Israeli government said it would ban her from entering Palestine for a planned political trip.
Israel earlier said it would block Tlaib and another Democratic lawmaker, Ilhan Omar, from entering Palestine, under the pretext of their support for the Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions Movement (BDS).
Israel’s decision to bar their entry was encouraged by President Donald Trump in a remarkable step both by the US President and his ally, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to punish political opponents.
After the announcement, Tlaib made a personal plea in a letter addressed to Israel’s interior minister, Aryeh Deri, which was approved on Friday morning.
Tlaib asked Deri for access to visit her family, “and specifically my grandmother, who is in her 90s and lives in Beit Ur al-Fouqa. This could be my last opportunity to see her.”
“I will respect any restrictions and will not promote boycotts against Israel during my visit,” Tlaib promised in the letter.
The boycott movement, formally known as the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, aims to end international support for Israel because of its policies toward Palestinians, as well as its continued construction of West Bank settlements, considered a violation of international law.