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Foreign Affairs condemns Israel's detention of American student

Oct. 10, 2018 5:02 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 11, 2018 2:59 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned, on Wednesday, Israel's detention of an American student, who has a Palestinian grandfather, at the Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, describing the detention as political terrorism.

The 22-year-old student Lara al-Qassem arrived last week with a one year student visa she was issued by the Israeli consulate in Florida to attend classes for a master's degree at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. However, she was held and denied entry upon her arrival at the airport.
The Israeli Population, Immigration and Border Authority said that al-Qassem was denied entry "because of boycott activity," adding that she will remain at the airport until her appeal against the planned deportation is heard.
The Israeli Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs, Gilad Erdan, said on Tuesday that Israel would reconsider allowing al-Qassem entry if she publicly declares that she was wrong in the past and condemns boycott of Israel.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned al-Qassem's detention at the airport and Erdan's condition, describing it as "cheap blackmail."

"The racism of the occupying state has reached the level of fascism in punishing, prosecuting and killing others because of their ideas and beliefs that are fully consistent with international law, international humanitarian law, human rights principles and human values."

The ministry criticized the United States government for not standing up and defending its citizens when it comes to having to censure Israel for its actions against US citizens.

"What al-Qassem is going through highlights the volume of the US blind bias toward the occupation (Israel) to the point of abandoning the rights of an American citizen who is going through the worst kind of political persecution."
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