Trump demands Israel bar Muslim congresswomen Omar and Tlaib
US President Donald Trump has demanded that Israel bar congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from entering Israel in a tweet accusing the pair of anti-Semitism.
The president's fiery remarks came shortly after reports that Israel's interior ministry had finally decided to ban the pair.
"It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep Omar and Rep Tlaib to visit," Trump tweeted on Thursday morning. "They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds."
Earlier in the day, Israeli television station Channel 12 reported that Interior minister Arye Deri moved to bar the two Muslim lawmakers.
Omar and Tlaib were reportedly planning to land in Israel on Friday instead of the announced date of Sunday. The reported arrangement was designed to surprise Israel's government, who were known to be considering banning the pair.
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.
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.
Under Israeli law, authorities can deny entry to individuals who support boycott movements.
Israel's government is expected to deliver a statement on banning the two congresswomen on Thursday evening.