Israel will bar a visit by two of its sharpest critics in the U.S. Congress, Democrats Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, who planned to tour the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, the country’s Deputy Foreign Minister said on Thursday.
“The decision has been made, the decision is not to allow them to enter,” Tzipi Hotovely told Israel’s Reshet Bet Radio.
U.S. President Donald Trump had earlier urged Israel on Thursday not to allow the visit by Ms .Tlaib and Ms. Omar, the first two Muslim women elected to Congress and members of the Democratic party’s progressive wing.
The pair have voiced support for the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement. Under Israeli law, backers of the BDS movement can be denied entry to Israel.
Mr. Trump has vented in recent months against Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib and two other Democratic Congresswomen of colour, accusing them of hostility to Israel in what has widely been seen as a drumming up of Republican votes for his 2020 reelection bid.