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Israel to let in barred US lawmaker for ‘humanitarian’ visit

JERUSALEM: Interior Ministry here has announced today that Israel is to allow a visit by barred US congresswoman Rashida Tlaib who is of Palestinian origin on humanitarian grounds.
It said Interior Minister Aryeh Deri decided to allow Tlaib to make a “humanitarian visit to her grandmother” in the Israeli-occupied West Bank after the lawmaker had sent him a written pledge “to respect conditions imposed by Israel”.
Tlaib had “promised not to promote the cause of the boycott of Israel during her stay”, in a letter to Deri sent overnight, the ministry said in a statement.
On Thursday, Israel announced it would bar a planned visit by Tlaib and fellow Muslim congresswoman Ilhan Omar over their support of a boycott of the Jewish state for its treatment of the Palestinians. Israeli officials had, however, said they would consider a separate humanitarian request from Tlaib to visit her family, a trip for which she would have to pass through Israel.
The decision to bar the congresswomen, although encouraged by President Donald Trump, drew sharp criticism in the United States from several allies of Israel, including top Democratic lawmakers, presidential hopefuls and influential pro-Israel lobby AIPAC.
Omar and Tlaib had been expected to arrive in Israel at the weekend.
Before Israel announced its decision, relatives of Tlaib in the West Bank village of Beit Ur Al-Foqa had been excited about her planned visit.

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M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.