Middle East Monitor / September 14, 2023
The Israeli Foreign Ministry has rejected a request from the EU to ease restrictions on entry for European citizens of Palestinian origin, Israel Hayom reported on Wednesday. Similar requests from Canada and Australia have also been rejected.
The EU, Canada and Australia have all called on Israel to allow those of their citizens who possess Palestinian citizenship free entry into the country, similarly to the access granted recently to Palestinian Americans. According to the foreign ministry, though, such an option is “out of the question” due to security considerations.
The Ministry noted that even though restrictions on the entry of Palestinian Americans have been relaxed, they continue to be subject to security checks. Israel relaxed its entry restrictions over the summer as part of its bid to join the US waiver program, which has been sought by the occupation state for years.
A pilot program was launched in July that allows unrestricted entry into Israel for Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza who hold US passports. This prompted the EU, Canada and Australia to make their request now refused by Israel.