Israel bars US lawmakers under pressure from Trump

Omar, Tlaib, Trump, Occupied Jerusalem, Trump

Occupied Jerusalem - Omar and Tlaib, who is of Palestinian origin, were expected to arrive in Israel at the weekend.


Published: Fri 16 Aug 2019, 8:33 AM

Last updated: Fri 16 Aug 2019, 4:38 PM

occupieIsrael said on Thursday it will bar a planned visit by two US congresswomen who have supported a boycott of the country over its treatment of the Palestinians, a decision strongly encouraged by President Donald Trump.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the highly unusual move against Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib necessary, charging that their "sole purpose is to harm Israel and increase incitement against it".
But Democratic politicians in the United States called on Israel to reconsider, while senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi labelled it "an outrageous act of hostility against the American people and their representatives".
Omar and Tlaib, who is of Palestinian origin, were expected to arrive in Israel at the weekend for a visit that would have taken them to the Palestinian territories.
Israeli officials said they would consider a separate humanitarian request from Tlaib to visit family members in the occupied West Bank, a trip for which she would have to pass through Israel.
Israel announced its decision shortly after Trump called on the country to bar the Democratic congresswomen who are among his sharpest critics.
"It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib to visit," Trump wrote on Twitter.
He continued with typical bombast: "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!"
Tlaib is from Michigan and Omar from Minnesota.
Netanyahu alleged their itinerary showed they intended to strengthen the boycott movement against Israel.
"As a vibrant and free democracy, Israel is open to any critic and criticism, with one exception," Netanyahu said in a statement.

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