JERUSALEM (AP) — The Latest on Israel banning U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib and fellow Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar’s planned tour, and subsequent reversal allowing Tlaib entry to West Bank for a family visit (all times local):
U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota disputes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim that she and Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan didn’t ask to meet with Israeli government or opposition officials before he barred them from visiting Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank next week.
Omar tweeted Friday they planned to meet with Jewish and Arab members of the Israeli parliament plus other Israeli officials. It was part of a series of tweets by Omar on what they intended to see.
She says they were going to get briefings on the impact of Israeli settlements on Bedouins in east Jerusalem, a U.N. briefing on the effects of U.S. humanitarian aid cuts, hold a video conference with Gaza youth and tour the West Bank city of Hebron with Israeli military veterans.
Democratic congresswoman Rashida Tlaib says she won’t visit her relatives in the West Bank after Israel issued a permit on humanitarian grounds, citing “oppressive conditions meant to humiliate me.”
Israel barred Tlaib and another congresswoman from visiting Jerusalem and the West Bank over their support for the international boycott movement, but said Tlaib could visit her relatives in the West Bank on humanitarian grounds. The Interior Ministry released a letter purportedly signed by Tlaib in which she promised not to advocate boycotts during her visit.
In an official statement released later Friday, Tlaib said “visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions meant to humiliate me would break my grandmother’s heart.”
She added that “silencing me with treatment to make me feel less-than is not what she wants for me – it would kill a piece of me that always stands up against racism and injustice.”
Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib says she will not let down the Palestinian people by remaining silent about their condition on a visit to the West Bank.
That’s the case despite a letter she submitted earlier to the Israeli government in which she promised to respect any restrictions imposed on her visit to the West Bank.
Tlaib tweeted Friday: “Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what (my grandmother) wants for me. It would kill a piece of me. I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in–fighting against racism, oppression & injustice.”
The Israeli interior minister had said that he received and granted a request by the Palestinian-American lawmaker to visit her relatives, including her 90-year-old grandparent in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.
Minister Aryeh Deri expressed hopes that Tlaib would “stand by her commitment and that the visit will be for humanitarian needs only.”
A senior Palestinian official distanced herself from a West Bank visit by U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib who has been allowed entry to the Israeli-occupied territory on “humanitarian grounds.”
The official, Hanan Ashrawi, was to have hosted Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar, on a West Bank tour. Tlaib and Omar are sharply critical of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.
On Thursday, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, prodded by President Donald Trump, said he won’t allow Tlaib and Omar to enter.
In a reversal Friday, Israel’s interior minister said he granted a request by Tlaib to visit West Bank relatives. Tlaib has pledged to abide by Israeli restrictions.
Ashrawi said Friday that she does not get involved in personal visits and that the congressional visit is off until all participants “can have free access to Palestine.”
Israel’s interior minister says he has received and granted a request by Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib to enter the Israeli-occupied West Bank on humanitarian grounds.
Minister Aryeh Deri said in a statement on Friday that Tlaib asked to visit her 90-year-old grandmother in the West Bank.
In a letter published by Deri’s office, Tlaib said she would respect any restrictions and would “not promote boycotts” during her visit.
On Thursday, Israel had decided to ban Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar from visiting the West Bank, arguing that they would promote a boycott campaign against Israel during the trip. Israel’s decision had sparked widespread criticism, including from Israeli and Jewish organization who said it was an affront to U.S. institutions to bar the entry of members of Congress.