Israel to allow Palestinian Americans entry in bid to qualify for US visa waiver program

Jul 19, 2023, 1:22 PM | Updated: 5:48 pm

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel announced Wednesday that it would be allowing all American citizens, including dual-nationality Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip, to enter the country through its international airport as part of an agreement to qualify for a visa waiver program with the U.S.

Israel has pushed for years to secure visa-free entry for its citizens to the U.S., a privilege enjoyed by 40 countries, mostly in Europe and Asia.

But that request has been thwarted over the U.S. government’s demand that the country provide equal treatment at its borders to all American citizens, including Palestinian Americans, who are often barred from entering the country through Israel’s Ben-Gurion airport. Instead, those traveling to the occupied West Bank or the Gaza Strip must enter via neighboring Jordan or Egypt.

Other Americans of Arab origin or Muslim faith say they’ve suffered similar restrictions, as well as U.S. citizens with political views Israel finds objectionable.

U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said the U.S. “will monitor not just their implementation of these policies, but their compliance with these policies and compliance with other other facets of the Visa Waiver Program” and decide on Sept. 30 whether to admit Israel.

Israel’s national security adviser, Tzachi Hanegbi, said the regulation would take effect Thursday and will strengthen ties between the countries and “brings us closer to full qualification for the terms of the U.S. government to the visa waiver program.”

The Israeli statement avoided mention of the word Palestinians, but said the protocol would allow entry to “every single American, including Americans with dual nationality, American residents of Judea and Samaria” — the biblical terms for the occupied West Bank — “and American residents of the Gaza Strip.”


Associated Press

Former Mississippi Democratic Party chair sues to reinstate himself, saying his ouster was improper

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The former chair of Mississippi’s Democratic Party has filed a lawsuit seeking to reinstate himself as its leader, arguing that he was improperly ousted in July. Tyree Irving, a former appellate judge who had chaired the state party since 2020, was voted out by a majority of party officials at a […]

52 minutes ago

Associated Press

Remains of Michigan soldier killed in Korean War accounted for after 73 years

DETROIT (AP) — The remains of an 18-year-old Army corporal from Detroit who was killed in the Korean War in 1950 have been identified, officials said Thursday. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced that Cpl. Lewis W. Hill was accounted for on May 22 after agency scientists identified his remains using dental and anthropological analysis […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

New York attorney general sends cease-and-desist letter to group accused of voter intimidation

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The New York attorney general’s office on Thursday sent a cease-and-desist letter to a group accused of confronting voters at their homes while claiming to be state election officials and falsely accusing people of committing voter fraud. The letter orders the group NY Citizens Audit to immediately stop any voter intimidation […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Former US Sen. Dick Clark, an Iowa Democrat known for helping Vietnam War refugees, has died at 95

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Former U.S. Sen. Dick Clark, a Democrat who unexpectedly won a single term representing Iowa in the 1970s after campaigning by walking around the state, and who later played a key role in aiding refugees after the Vietnam War, has died. He was 95. Clark died Wednesday at his home […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Senate confirms new army chief as one senator’s objection holds up other military nominations

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is confirming three of the Pentagon’s top leaders, filling the posts after monthslong delays and as a Republican senator is still holding up hundreds of other nominations and promotions for military officers. Gen. Randy George was confirmed as Army Chief of Staff on Thursday, and Gen. Eric Smith is expected […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Biden says Norfolk Southern must be held accountable for Ohio derailment but won’t declare disaster

President Joe Biden ordered federal agencies to continue holding Norfolk Southern accountable for its February derailment in eastern Ohio and appoint a FEMA official to oversee East Palestine’s recovery, but he still stopped short of declaring a disaster. Biden issued the executive order Wednesday evening. Part of the order essentially directed the environmental, health and […]

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Israel to allow Palestinian Americans entry in bid to qualify for US visa waiver program