Anuar Majluf during an earlier trip to Jerusalem. (via Facebook)
Anuar Majluf, director of the Palestinian Federation of Chile, is urging his country to refuse entry to Israeli tourists if Israel persists in barring Chilean citizens from Palestine.
Majluf was refused entry by Israel on Monday as he traveled with a delegation to his ancestral homeland for Easter.
“I feel terrible pain because I’m now unable to visit my family’s homeland, as a Chilean citizen with a Palestinian lineage,” Majluf said in a statement from the Palestinian BDS National Committee, the civil society coalition that leads the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS) for Palestinian rights.
“On the other hand, I know that what I suffer is nothing compared to the suffering of the many Palestinians who, if they dare to defy Israel’s policies, often end up dead, tortured or in the prisons of the occupation,” Majluf added.
Majluf said that Israeli authorities handed him a document pointing to the new Israeli law that prohibits entry to BDS supporters.
Gilad Erdan, Israel’s strategic affairs minister who is in charge of the government’s efforts to thwart the global Palestine solidarity movement, told Israeli media that the action against Majluf was because of his support for BDS.
“The days when foreign BDS activists that want to harm Israel are coming here and acting freely are over,” Erdan said. “We will not allow entry to our country’s enemies.”
Last month, Israel denied entry to Hugh Lanning, the chair of the UK’s Palestine Solidarity Committee, citing similar reasons.
Majluf was reportedly refused entry to the occupied West Bank as he tried to enter through the land crossing from Jordan.
Israel’s action has been condemned by Arab and Palestinian diaspora groups across Latin America: