By Nick Clark
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Democrats barred from Israel

This article is over 2 years, 5 months old
Issue 2668
Ilhan Omar, one of the two politicians barred from entering Israel
Ilhan Omar, one of the two politicians barred from entering Israel (Pic: Fibonacci Blue/Flickr)

Israel barred two prominent US politicians from entry last week because of their support for Palestinians.

The Israeli government blocked a visit to Palestine by Palestinian-American Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, which was supposed to begin last Sunday.

It said their sympathy for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign meant they shouldn’t be allowed in. BDS targets companies that profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

Israel’s draconian anti-BDS law denies entry to anyone who supports the campaign. The state wants to stifle opposition.

US president Donald Trump said the two Democratic Party representatives should be banned because they “hate Israel and all Jewish people”.

Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu complained that their itinerary said they were visiting Palestine, not Israel, and that it included trips to West Bank cities.

They want to deny people the right to see the reality of the occupation, just as Palestinians are denied the right to move freely and refugees the right to return.

Israeli soldiers kill three in Gaza

Israeli soldiers killed three Palestinians near the separation fence that traps people inside the Gaza Strip last Saturday.

An Israeli attack helicopter and a tank fired at the three men as they approached the fence. Israel said the three were trying to leave Gaza, and were armed.

Benny Gantz, Israel’s “centrist” opposition leader, promised a war on Gaza if he becomes prime minister after elections next month.

Gantz was in charge of Israel’s military during its last war on Gaza in 2014. One of his previous election videos boasted that under his command “parts of Gaza were returned to the stone ages”.

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