Israeli authorities yesterday denied entry to a senior official at Amnesty International USA, citing “public security” considerations.
Raed Jarrar, MENA advocacy director at Amnesty International USA, and a prominent Arab-American blogger and activist, announced the news on social media.
According to a public Facebook post, Jarrar was denied entry while on a “personal trip” to “visit my dad’s extended family and grieve with them in the wake of his passing”. Jarrar added that his father “was born and raised in Palestine”.
— Raed Jarrar (@raedjarrar) October 30, 2017
Israeli officials, however, interrogated Jarrar about “Amnesty’s project calling on countries to ban settlement goods”, before eventually denying him entry.
Jarrar’s partner and Amnesty campaigner Alli McCracken, who was travelling with him, also wrote about the experience on Facebook, similarly noting “extensive questioning of Raed about Amnesty International’s project calling for the ban of Israeli settlement goods”.
McCracken added that Israeli authorities also asked “intrusive questions about the content of my cell phone (yes, they took it from me)” then “abruptly deported us to Jordan”.
According to Jarrar, he and his partner “were questioned and kept separated for hours”, adding: “Interrogators were extremely rude and intrusive, especially with Alli. Israeli government employees mocked us while we were being deported and stood outside our van laughing and taunting us”.
A photo of Jarrar’s denial of entry documentation indicates that the Amnesty official was banned by Israeli authorities as a threat to “public security”.