Israel wants ‘public apology’ to allow US student in

By Abdul Raouf Arnaout

JERUSALEM (AA) – The Israeli government has conditioned a public apology from a U.S. student, who is allegedly linked to a global boycott campaign against Israel, to be allowed entry into the country, Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

Last week, Israeli authorities denied entry to Lara Alqasem despite having a student visa from the Israeli consulate in Miami.

''If Alqasem comes forward tomorrow morning with her own voice, not with all sorts of lawyers' wisecracking and statements that could be construed this way or another – and declares that supporting BDS, she thinks today is illegitimate and she regrets what she did on this matter, we will consider our stance,” Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan said on Twitter on Tuesday.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is a global campaign devoted to pressuring Israel — economically and politically — to end its ongoing violations of international law.

Israeli officials argue that Alqasem, who was planned to join the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, supports the BDS and took part in campaigns boycotting Israel.

The U.S. student has been detained at Israel’s Ben-Gurion airport since she arrived in the country.

Her first appeal against the Israeli decision to deny her entry was denied last week. A second appeal is expected to be heard in the coming days.