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Netanyahu to decide if Congresswomen Tlaib, Omar can visit West Bank

July 19, 2019 at 11:19 am

Rashida Tlaib (R) and Ilhan Omar (L) became the first Middle Eastern women to be elected to Congress during the US mid-terms on 6 November, 2018 [Facebook]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will have to decide whether Democratic US Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar can visit Israel and the West Bank next month, local media has reported.

Israel has passed a law that bans the entry of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement supporters and it is under this legislation that Netanyahu could ban the Congresswomen from entry. However, the Israeli foreign ministry can waivers be issued in certain cases where denying a person’s entry could harm Israel’s foreign relations, Haaretz reported.

According to the paper, Netanyahu will now have to decide whether to allow the two Congresswomen entry.

Congresswoman Omar told the Jewish Insider on Wednesday that she and Tlaib were planning to visit the region in the coming weeks.

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“Everything that I hear points to both sides feeling like there is still an occupation,” she said.

This week, she, along with Palestinian-American Rashida Tlaib and civil rights activist John Lewis, introduced a resolution in the House to affirm the American right to boycott. The resolution doesn’t specifically refer to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict but is heralded by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as a “ground-breaking resolution” that defends “freedom of expression and the right of oppressed communities… to peacefully fight for their rights.”