Israel’s decision to blacklist the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign and block the group’s more than 400 members from entering the country has been condemned as “appalling” by its chairwoman Fatin al-Tamimi.
The Dublin-based volunteer organisation that campaigns for Palestinian rights is one of 20 activist groups to appear on the blacklist published by Israel’s strategic affairs ministry on Sunday.
Individuals who hold senior positions in the blacklisted organisations along with key activists will be denied entry to Israel under a crackdown by the country on groups that call for a boycott of the Jewish state.
The blacklist targets a grassroots movement known as Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS), which criticises Israel over its policies towards the Palestinians.
“For me as a Palestinian, it means a lot that they are going to ban me from going to see my family and people. It is absolutely horrible,” said Ms Tamimi who will be blocked from visiting family in Hebron and Gaza.
The campaigner, who has lived in Ireland for more than 30 years, said that she plans to make representations to the Irish Government about the ban and to write to Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney in an attempt to ensure that Palestinians in Ireland can travel freely to their homeland.
Other groups blacklisted include the France Association Palestine Solidarity, the Palestine committee of Norway and the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker group awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947 for assisting and rescuing victims of the Nazis.
“The boycott organisations must know that the state of Israel will act against them,” said Israel’s strategic affairs ministry Gilad Erdan.