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article imagePalestinian-American author detained at Tel Aviv airport: officials

By AFP     Nov 2, 2018 in Travel

A Palestinian-American writer has been detained on arrival at Israel's main airport and will be deported, Palestinian and Israeli officials said Friday.

Susan Abulhawa was refused entry at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport on Thursday evening, said a spokesman for the Palestinian Literature Festival, which Abulhawa had been set to attend.

She appealed the decision in an Israeli court Friday morning but her appeal was rejected, meaning she was likely to be deported in the coming hours, the spokesman added.

Abulhawa, author of the novel Mornings in Jenin, had been due to appear at panel events in both Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Ramallah during the festival, which is co-sponsored by the British Council.

Immigration authority spokeswoman Sabine Haddad told AFP the writer was refused entry because of an incident in 2015 when she refused to answer questions by security personnel when attempting to enter though a land crossing from neighbouring Jordan.

"She was refused entry then and told that the next time she arrived she had to coordinate in advance," Haddad said in Hebrew.

This time "she landed without arranging entry in advance".

Haddad added that Abulhawa's detention was not related to support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

In March 2017, Israel's parliament passed a law barring entry to supporters of BDS, a movement inspired by an international campaign against apartheid in South Africa.

Last month an American student spent two weeks in Israeli detention appealing an entry ban over past support for a pro-Palestinian boycott campaign.

Lara Alqasem was eventually allowed to enter Israel after its supreme court overturned the ban.

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