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Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib to 'trick' Netanyahu by 'secretly landing in Israel' on Friday Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib to 'trick' Netanyahu by 'secretly landing in Israel' on Friday

Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar will visit Israel [Getty]

Date of publication: 15 August, 2019

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US lawmakers Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib will reportedly land in Israel ahead of schedule amid reports that Israel's leader is trying to block the visit.

The United States' first Muslim congresswoman, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, will reportedly land in Israel on Friday, according to Israeli media.

An exclusive report by Hebrew newspaper Israel Hayom said Tlaib and Omar were scheduled to arrive in Israel on Sunday, but they pushed forward their arrival to Friday.

The report claims they pushed forward their arrival to “mislead Israeli authorities” on when exactly they would arrive.

They will be joined by a third member of the US congress, who remains anonymous, according to the report. The report added that officials in Tel Aviv believe the trip is a part of a “harsh anti-Israel campaign”.

Meanwhile, other reports say Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was considering to ban Tlaib and Omar from entering Israel, despite being given the all-clear to enter last month.

The Washington Post reported Netanyahu told congressional leaders that he was heavily considering barring them from entry because of their support for the non-violent Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement.

His decision caused fury within the US after a private backlash from the Democratic leadership and some US-based pro-Israel groups, who believe banning them from entering Israel based on their political views is a dangerous move.

It’s unclear whether Netanyahu will follow through with the ban.

If allowed entry, the pair will visit Jerusalem, Hebron, Bethlehem and Ramallah.

Tlaib is originally from the West Bank city of Ramallah and her father grew up in Beit Hanina in East Jerusalem.

Palestinian-American Tlaib and Somali-American Omar have been vocal about their solidarity with Palestine.

Read more: What is BDS and why should you care?

Late last month The US Congress voted overwhelmingly to condemn the international movement to boycott Israel over its human rights violations and continued occupation of Palestine in a rare bipartisan vote.

Just 17 lawmakers voted against the non-binding resolution to condemn the BDS movement – a movement that Palestinians say is one of their only channels to raise awareness for their plight for freedom. 

Among them were Omar, Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, members of the trendsetting liberal group of congresswomen known as "the Squad". Fellow "Squad"-member Ayanna Pressley voted for the resolution.

 

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