Friday, January 19, 2007
An Excellent, Highly Recommended Segment
With Amy Goodman
"The Israeli government has effectively frozen visitation and re-entry of foreign nationals of Palestinian origin to the West Bank and Gaza. We go to Ramallah to speak with two coordinators of the “Campaign for the Right of Entry and Re-Entry to the Occupied Palestinian Territory.” We’re also joined by a leading Israeli human rights attorney and a Palestinian-American filmmaker recently detained by Israeli officials and deported.
We begin in Ramallah where the Israeli government has effectively frozen visitation and re-entry of foreign nationals of Palestinian origin to the Occupied Territories. Activists and human rights advocates are claiming that since last year’s election of Hamas, thousands have been denied entry into the West Bank and Gaza. The Israeli government initially denied that there had been a policy change. But on Tuesday, the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories released a letter stating that the policy of denying foreign nationals entry had been reversed. The letter was dated December 28th and had been sent to the Palestinian Authority.
Yet - the organization “Campaign for the Right of Entry and Re-Entry to the Occupied Palestinian Territory” maintains that they know of at least 14 foreign citizens who only last week were denied entrance to the Territories. They say that in addition to being discriminatory, this policy is tearing families apart, blocking students from finishing their education, and keeping people from their jobs and businesses. The Israeli human rights group B’tzelem wrote in a recent report that the crackdown is part of a broader policy to limit the growth of the Palestinian population by “preventing the entry of spouses and children of residents, and by stimulating emigration from the area.”
We go now to the Occupied Territories where Sam Bahour and Anita Abdullah are with us from Ramallah.
Sam Bahour. Palestinian-American businessman and one of the coordinators of the Campaign for Right of Entry/Re-Entry to the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
Anita Abdullah. Anita is on the coordinating committee for the Campaign for the Right of Entry/Re-Entry to the Occupied Palestinian Territory. She is a researcher at Birzeit University, Institute of Community and Public Health.
Leah Tsemel. Israeli Human Rights Lawyer.
Suzy Salamy.Palestinian-American filmmaker recently denied entry by Israeli authorities."
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