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Israel to gather intelligence on BDS activists

March 21, 2017 at 6:17 pm

Israel should create a database of activists with links to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, the strategic affairs minister has recommended.

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper quoted senior security officials saying that during a cabinet meeting last week, the Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan wants intelligence to be gathered from open sources, such as the internet and social media platforms.

Erdan reportedly said that there are many Israelis involved in BDS activism and cooperating with foreign campaigners.

The minister has been credited with creating an Intelligence Unit to collect information on foreign supporters of the global movement, the newspaper said.

Israel’s Attorney General, Avichai Mendelblit, argued that the ministry “has no legal authority to collect information on Israeli citizens.”

Read: Israel denies entry to alleged BDS activist

Earlier this month, Israel’s Knesset passed a bill that would ban granting visas to foreign individuals or members of organisations which support BDS.

Since then, several foreign nationals have been blocked from entering the state, the latest of whom was Chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign Hugh Lanning.