US 'concerned' over Israel's treatment of Arab-Americans at Ben-Gurion

Israel views anyone in possession of a Palestinian Authority ID card as a Palestinian resident.

August 19, 2015 07:48
Ben Gurion Airport

Ben Gurion Airport. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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US State Department spokesman John Kirby on Tuesday expressed concern over the treatment of Palestinian-Americans traveling to Israel.

According to the US State Department's website, "many Palestinian nationals or dual nationals seeking to enter via Ben-Gurion have been sent back to the United States upon arrival."

"Others have been allowed to enter Israel but told they cannot depart Israel via Ben-Gurion without special permission, which is rarely granted," the website explains.

Israel views anyone in possession of a Palestinian Authority ID card as a Palestinian resident, regardless of whether they are also a US citizen. Those eligible for the ID card include anyone with a parent or grandparent who lived in the West Bank or Gaza. Israeli law dictates that all Palestinian Authority citizens enter the country through the Allenby Bridge on the Jordanian border.

"The US government seeks equal treatment and freedom to travel for all US citizens regardless of national origin or ethnicity," Kirby announced.

"Specifically, the US government remains concerned at the unequal treatment that Palestinian-Americans and other Arab-Americans receive at Israel's borders and checkpoints."

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