An Israeli government official decided Thursday that U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., should be barred from entering the country for a planned visit this weekend, according to Israeli media.
The two freshman congresswomen support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), a pro-Palestinian advocacy effort, and Israeli law says those supporting boycotts of the country may be denied entry. The decision to enforce the law against Tlaib and Omar was reportedly made by Israeli Interior Minister Arye Deri, but a formal decision and announcement have yet to be made as other parties weigh in.
Waivers can be granted for diplomatic figures, however, Haaretz reported.
In July, Israel’s U.S. ambassador said the country would not bar U.S. lawmakers out of “respect” for Congress and Israel’s longtime “alliance” with the U.S. President Trump expressed frustration about the decision last week, The Washington Post reported.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced pressure from Democratic leaders and some U.S.-based Israel advocacy groups that were advising against barring the congresswomen, the Post reported.
The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday that Netanyahu met Wednesday with Deri, Foreign Minister Israel Katz, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, National Security Council leader Meir Ben-Shabbat, and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to discuss the matter.
“The possibility exists that Israel will not allow the visit in its current form,” the officials said at the time, adding, “Professional and legal teams from the government minister [were] continuing to study the materials.” The officials reportedly noted that the decision was ultimately up to the Interior Minister.
The Ministry of the Interior did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
On Thursday, Israeli Channel 13’s Barak Ravid reported that, according to officials, Netanyahu had been considering allowing Tlaib and Omar to enter Israel, but only to travel within the territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority.