Following Israel's announcement on Thursday that Democratic Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib will be barred from entering Israel due to their support of BDS, Tlaib sent a request to Israel's Ministry of Interior to visit her "Palestinian" grandmother on humanitarian grounds on Thursday night.
"I would like to request admittance to Israel in order to visit my relatives, and specifically my grandmother, who is in her 90s and lives in Beit Ur al-Fouqa. This could be my last opportunity to see her. I will respect any restrictions and will not promote boycotts against Israel during my visit. Thank you, Rashida Tlaib."
Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs, MK Gilad Erdan (Likud) recommended granting Tlaib's request on Friday.
"The decision to prevent the entry of the congresswomen was right and true after it clearly emerged from their planned schedule that the purpose of the visit prepared for them was to continue supporting and promoting the boycott of Israel. Congresswoman Talib's request to visit her grandmother should be approved, mainly in light of her commitment to respect Israeli law and not to promote boycotts against us."
A Channel 12 News report on Friday said that Tlaib's visit will be approved subject to her signing a document through the Interior Ministry that she will visit without Omar and will not use her visit for political purposes. Currently, Tlaib is planning to visit next week - Sunday through Thursday.
Following Israel's announcement on Thursday, Tlaib responded by tweeting a photo of her grandmother, writing: "She deserves to live in peace and with human dignity. I am who I am because of her. The decision by Israel to bar her granddaughter, a U.S. Congresswoman, is a sign of weakness b/c the truth of what is happening to Palestinians is frightening."
According to the Israeli government, Tlaib's itinerary for her original trip together with Omar listed the destination as Palestine, not Israel, and included no meetings with Israeli officials.
Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, said that the congresswomen planned to meet with organizations promoting BDS, one of whose leaders has ties with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which is designated by the US as a terror group.
"The leadership of our country believes that this visit was designed solely with the intention of promoting BDS and they were gonna use this visit as a platform to BDS activities," Dermer said.