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Israeli gov’t denies entry to 2 US congresswomen attempting to visit Israel and the West Bank

August 16, 2019

US congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar were denied entry to Israel and the occupied West Bank on Thursday after having previously been told they would be able to visit by the Israeli government. Tlaib is a Palestinian American who’s grandmother still lives just west of Ramallah. This landmark decision was immediately met with wide condemnation in the US, including from traditionally pro-Israel groups such as AIPAC. Many accuse President Donald Trump of encouraging the Netanyahu administration to deny Tlaib and Omar entry.

Omar, who also sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Tlaib were visiting the West Bank and East Jerusalem in order to provide a different narrative than the those offered by trips pro-Israel lobby groups organize for US politicians. Observers state that this move demonstrates the control the Israeli government has on freedom of movement in the occupied territories and the lengths it will go to silence critics of the occupation.

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