Rashida Tlaib rejects Israel's offer of 'humanitarian' visit - Breaking News in Nigeria today 247 | TheWatchNGR


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Friday, August 16, 2019

Rashida Tlaib rejects Israel's offer of 'humanitarian' visit

Rashida Tlaib rejects Israel's offer of 'humanitarian' visit

US congresswoman Rashida Tlaib has rejected Israel's offer to allow her to make a "humanitarian" visit to her grandmother in the occupied West Bank.

Ms Tlaib said that she could not comply with the "oppressive conditions" being imposed.

A critic of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians, she had been blocked by Israel from making an official visit.

But it said a private visit could go ahead after she agreed "not to promote the boycott of Israel during her stay".

How did we get here?

Ms Tlaib and fellow Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar had originally been due to make an official visit to the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Sunday.

Under pressure from US President Donald Trump, Israel denied permission for the visit to territory it controls.

A statement from the Israeli interior ministry on Thursday confirmed the entry ban, saying it was "inconceivable that those who wish to harm the state of Israel while visiting would be granted entry".

Ms Tlaib and Ms Omar have voiced support for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign - which aims to put economic pressure on the Israeli government - because of their opposition to Israel's policies towards Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

On Friday, Israel's interior ministry said it had given Ms Tlaib permission for what it termed a humanitarian visit to family after she had promised in a letter to "respect conditions imposed by Israel".

Israeli media published Ms Tlaib's letter, which said: "I would like to request admittance to Israel in order to visit my relatives, and specifically my grandmother, who is in her 90s.

"I will respect any restrictions and will not promote boycotts against Israel during my visit."

What does Tlaib say now?

In a series of tweets on Friday, she categorically rejected Israel's offer - even though it meant she would not see her grandmother.

"Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me," she said of her grandmother.

"It would kill a piece of me. I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in."

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