Israel takes steps to stop tourists accessing Bethlehem

From Middle East Monitor: Israel has tightened restrictions on the movement of tourists to the occupied West Bank with particular limitations on their access to occupied Bethlehem.


According to the news site, sources said that Israeli authorities were distributing leaflets outlining the “measures and restrictions” which apply to tourists who arrive through Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv. These include restrictions on travel to Bethlehem.

In the Hebrew-language document dated April 23, the Border Control Department of the Israeli Population and Immigration Authority notifies travel agencies that as of 15 May, the day when Palestinians commemorate the 1948 Nakba, they will have to “attach, with each request to bring a group of tourists into the country, a special form pledging that they will not send tourists to Judea and Samaria,” using the Israeli term for the occupied West Bank.

The document only addresses Israeli tourism agencies, and not individual would-be tourists.

Document from the Israeli Population and Immigration Authority

Document from the Israeli Population and Immigration Authority

The forms must be signed and sent to one of three Population and Immigration Authority email addresses listed in the document.

The document warns tourism agencies that their requests to bring groups of tourists would “not be processed” if the pledge was not signed and attached.

Israel has imposed a number of restrictive measures on the movement of tourists it deems to be supportive of the Palestinian people including banning those who support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

Reproduced (with thanks) from Middle East Monitor 

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