Israel official: Netanyahu weighing ban on Omar, Tlaib visit

Source: Politico | August 15, 2019 | Associated Press

JERUSALEM — Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was holding consultations with senior ministers and aides on Thursday to reevaluate the decision to allow two Democratic congresswomen to enter the country next week.

An Israeli official said they are meeting about an upcoming visit by Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. The newly-elected Muslim members of Congress are outspoken critics of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and support the boycott movement against Israel. Tlaib’s family immigrated to the United States from the West Bank.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, said “there is a possibility that Israel will not allow the visit in its current proposed format.”

Last month, Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer said Israel would not deny entry to any member of Congress.

Israel often hosts delegations of U.S. representatives and senators, who usually meet with senior Israeli officials as well as Palestinian officials in the West Bank. A decision to ban the congresswomen could further sharpen divisions among U.S. Democrats over Israel ahead of the American elections in 2020.

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