(FOX 9) - An Israeli official says the government has decided it will not allow Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib to enter the country for a planned visit next week, the Associated Press is reporting.
The two freshmen congresswomen support the Palestinian-led boycott movement and have been publicly critical of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Tlaib's family immigrated to the United States from the West Bank.
Israel's deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely said the decision keeps with the government's policy of denying entry to those who advocate boycotts of Israel, according to the Associated Press.
The announcement comes shortly after President Donald Trump tweeted that it would “show great weakness” if Israel allowed the congresswomen to visit.
“They hate Israel & all Jewish people & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds,” the president said.
It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds. Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2019
Rep. Omar attended Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey's budget address on Thursday, but declined to answer reporters' questions regarding Israel's decision to bar her and Rep. Tlaib from the country.
U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar walks away from reporters’ questions after Israel’s prime minister barred her from that country. (Apologies for the sideways video) pic.twitter.com/rDOxG08wMD— Theo Keith (@TheoKeith) August 15, 2019
She later released a statement on the decision, saying "It is an affront that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, under pressure from President Trump, would deny entry to representatives of the U.S. government."
“It is an affront that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, under pressure from President Trump, would deny entry to representatives of the U.S. government. Trump’s Muslim ban is what Israel is implementing, this time against two duly elected Members of Congress. Denying entry into Israel not only limits our ability to learn from Israelis, but also to enter the Palestinian territories. Sadly, this is not a surprise given the public positions of Prime Minister Netanyahu, who has consistently resisted peace efforts, restricted the freedom of movement of Palestinians, limited public knowledge of the brutal realities of the occupation and aligned himself with Islamophobes like Donald Trump.
“As a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, it is my job to conduct oversight of foreign aid from the United States of America and to legislate on human rights practices around the world. The irony of the ‘only democracy’ in the Middle East making such a decision is that it is both an insult to democratic values and a chilling response to a visit by government officials from an allied nation.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.