World, Middle East

Israel bars pro-boycott activist from entering country

Israel turns away head of British pro-Palestine group one week after passing law that bans pro-boycott activists

Israel bars pro-boycott activist from entering country

By Kaamil Ahmed


The head of a U.K.-based pro-Palestinian activist group that supports a boycott of Israel was barred from entering the country Sunday night, Israeli authorities said.

Hugh Lanning, Chairman of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), was turned away at the airport a week after Israel's parliament passed a law allowing it to ban activists who call for boycotting the self-proclaimed Jewish state.

The Israeli immigration authorities said in a subsequent statement that the PSC had tried to delegitimize Israel in Britain and Europe.

They also noted that PSC members had been part of the Mavi Marmara aid flotilla, which tried to break the sea blockade of the Gaza Strip in 2010 but was stopped by Israeli forces, who killed 10 Turkish activists aboard in international waters.

The Israeli government has increasingly tried to block mounting international support for an economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel, which many pro-Palestinian activists support as a form of non-violent opposition to Israel's decades-long occupation of Palestinian land.

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