According to reports, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked (Yamina) is refusing to allow a group of women from Afghanistan to enter Israel, out of fear that they will subsequently claim asylum and refuse to leave.
The group of women are cyclists who set out a while ago on a world tour and have submitted a request to travel through Israel. Shaked allegedly turned down their request, concerned that due to the political situation in their home country, they would opt to stay in Israel rather than return to live under Taliban rule.
Even when several international aid organizations intervened, offering to guarantee that the women would remain in Israel for just one month before moving on to Canada, Shaked still refused to budge. A number of Jewish businessmen then attempted to put pressure on the Interior Minister, to no avail.
All that Shaked has agreed to do is consult with her Canadian counterpart, in order to receive his assurance that Canada does intend to grant the group entry in a month’s time. However, the two have yet to discuss the issue as the group of women are currently in the United Arab Emirates, making a temporary rest-stop in Dubai.