A top Palestinian official said on Monday she had been denied a US travel visa for the first time and viewed it as retaliation for her criticism of the Trump administration and Israel, reports Reuters.
US diplomats did not immediately respond to the allegations by Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the executive committee of the umbrella Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) who took part in interim peace talks with Israel dating back decades.
#Trump administration has refused to give veteran Palestinian peace negotiator Hanan Ashrawi a visa to visit the United States for the first time, obviously punishing her for her criticism of the administration's slavish devoting to Israeli interests. https://t.co/ULOc0plrv2
— Gareth Porter (@GarethPorter) May 13, 2019
Since they boycotted the Trump administration over its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in late 2017, the Palestinians have seen cuts to US funding that have contributed to economic distress in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Ashrawi said on Twitter:
“It is official! My US visa application has been rejected. No reason given. This administration has decided I do not deserve to set foot in the US”
Ashrawi gave as possible reasons her “vocal critic(ism) of this administration & its underlings” and her “(zero) tolerance for the Israeli occupation in all its manifestations as a most pervasive form of oppression, dispossession & denial”.
ISRAEL: Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi claims she was denied a US visa for political reasons.
— KolHaolam (@KolHaolam) May 13, 2019
The rancor between the United States and the Palestinians has deepened as Washington prepares to unveil a long-awaited plan for restarting peacemaking, possibly next month.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said last week that the United States seems to be crafting a plan for a Palestinian surrender to Israel instead of a peace deal.
(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)