Israel extends travel ban for Palestinian activist

Hanadi Al-Halawani, an activist and a teacher at Al-Aqsa Mosque schools (AbdelKarim Alkahlout - Twitter)

Middle East Monitor  /  August 27, 2021

An Israeli court has upheld a travel ban imposed upon Palestinian activist Hanadi Al-Halawani, who has been barred from leaving the occupied West Bank to travel abroad until 19 January next year. The renewed ban was handed to her yesterday after she was summoned for interrogation by the Israel Defence Forces in occupied Jerusalem.

The travel ban imposed on the 40-year-old has been used as an excuse to deny her access to health and national insurance. Moreover, she is subjected regularly to physical and verbal harassment during protests against raids on Palestinians by illegal settlers.

“I have been arrested by the Israelis 63 times, and they have broken into my home on many occasions. They do this when my children are trying to study for exams, and the Israelis confiscate their books,” she told MEMO earlier this year. “There have been occasions when I have been imprisoned for two weeks at a time and they terrorize my children and husband in order to disturb the neighbours every day and incite them to evict me from my home as I am ‘the cause’ of the disturbances.”

With tens of thousands of followers on social media, where she regularly posts about the holy city and Al-Aqsa Mosque, she receives many invitations to give talks abroad. The ban makes it impossible for her to do so.

“I am prevented from travelling to participate in conferences outside the occupied Palestinian territories and for my work,” she explained. “They have also prevented me from leaving my own house and from crossing into the occupied West Bank because I participate in activities in Palestinian universities that also work to expose Israeli crimes.”

Al-Halawani is one of several Palestinian women who have been repeatedly barred by the Israeli occupation authorities from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque compound because of her political activism. While her family enters the Noble Sanctuary, she waits outside.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam after Makkah and Madinah in Saudi Arabia. Jewish settlers, among others, refer to the sanctuary as the “Temple Mount” and claim it for themselves.