Israeli authorities have refused entry to the occupied Gaza Strip to two members of a US medical delegation because they are Jewish, reported Haaretz.
Initially, the refusal was extended to the entire group, from the Washington branch of Physicians for Social Responsibility, citing the organization’s alleged involvement with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Israel bars 2 from of US medical delegation from entering Gaza because they're Jewish. Israel first refused to let the entire group enter due to members' Jewish origins & alleged BDS ties, but folded after a petition by legal center for freedom of movement https://t.co/t3RO2DYTQv
— Adalah-NY (@AdalahNY) October 10, 2018
After Israeli human rights NGO Gisha petitioned the Supreme Court, Haaretz reported,
“The state backtracked on those two reasons and said it would permit eight of the delegation’s 10 members to enter the Strip as planned, on October 21”.
However, in regard to two of the members — “a neurosurgeon and a social worker with considerable experience treating people with trauma disorders” — the state said they required “additional security checks”. The state’s final response is reportedly due tomorrow.
Israel's undemocratic anti-BDS law is only further isolating the country and it's institutions from the world. Hard to see universities keeping exchange programs with a country that detains/deports visa-holding students on the basis of race and politics https://t.co/4m3qLsTQ0t
— Rebecca Pierce? (@aptly_engineerd) October 8, 2018
The delegation is attempting to enter the blockaded enclave in order to carry out “consultations with colleagues on various medical issues”, as well as to provide “medical treatment and instruction in the clinics of the host organization, the Gaza Community Mental Health Program”.
Explaining the entry refusal last month, the Israeli army noted:
“Many of the applicants are Jews, for whom the risk of going to the Gaza Strip is routinely more significant”.
Even Jews don't have freedom of speech in Israel:
"An American student has become the latest victim of Israel’s law targeting supporters of the global  (BDS) movement. Lara Alqasem, 22, has been held since last Tuesday at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport."@ISMPalestine
— M (@Pakeha56) October 11, 2018
However, as Haaretz reported, D’vorah Kost, one of the two delegation members who was refused entry, has visited the Gaza Strip twice: in an affidavit, she wrote that,
“The people she met in Gaza are aware that she is Jewish and that her Judaism had never posed a problem”.
Israel bars two members of U.S. medical delegation from entering Gaza because they're Jewish
— andre (@andre17572805) October 11, 2018
The physician who was refused entry, Dr. Donald Mellman, has visited the Gaza Strip seven times.
Israeli authorities also claimed that the physicians’ organization is “involved in activities that encourage boycotting Israel, in cooperation with the BDS movement”.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)