A bill preventing supporters of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement from entering Israel was authorized on Monday for its first reading in the Israeli parliament, according to Israeli media.
According to the Jerusalem Post, the interior committee of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, approved the bill, which was initiated by Knesset Member Yinon Magal from the ultranationalist Home Party, paving the way for the bill to enter its first reading in the Israeli Knesset.
— Ben White (@benabyad) November 7, 2016
The move came after several months of renewed Israeli efforts to crack down on the BDS Movement. Israeli Minister of the Interior Aryeh Deri and Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan announced in August that they were forming a joint task force to “expel and ban the entry of BDS activists” into Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.
“We must not allow BDS activists to enter the state of Israel. This is a necessary step, given the malicious intentions of these activists to delegitimize and spread lies and distortions about the reality in our region,” Erdan was quoted as saying in a statement released at the time, adding that the boycott movement against Israel “must have a price.”
— Jews4PalestinianRtrn (@Jews4PRoR) October 23, 2016
The announcement led to outcry from groups like the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), which believed they were the targets of the newly-formed task force.
“Isolation of Palestinians by denying access and/or deporting human rights activists aims to make Palestinian communities already vulnerable and suffering from abuse…even more vulnerable,” ISM said in a statement in response to the plans of forming the task force.