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Amnesty calls on ‘Israel to lift travel ban on campaigner

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- Amnesty International on Friday called on the occupation state of Israel to lift a travel ban on one of its staff in Palestine.

Israeli authorities held Amnesty’s campaigner Laith Abu Zeyad at the King Hussein border crossing on October 26 while on his way to attend a relative’s funeral in Jordan.

Shortly thereafter, the Israelis told him he was banned from travelling abroad for what the Shin Bet called “serious security considerations”.

Amnesty stressed that after Israeli authorities have set a hearing on the matter at the Jerusalem District Court on May 31 even after it accepted the group’s petition to lift the travel ban.

“The decision by the Israeli authorities to impose the travel ban is baseless. He is a human rights defender who should be protected and not punished. Any suggestion that Laith poses a security threat is simply absurd,” said Saleh Higazi, Amnesty’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“We are asking the court to lift the travel ban on our colleague Laith Abu Zeyad, but the authorities can decide to withdraw the ban before we get to the hearing, and they should certainly do so immediately.”

In September, Abu Zeyad was also denied an Israeli military-issued permit to enter occupied East Jerusalem to accompany his mother for medical treatment.

In December last year, Laith was banned from visiting his mother who was suffering from cancer, and as a result, did not get the chance to see her before her death.

The Israeli travel ban of Abu Zeyad comes as a part of a series if Israeli actions against human rights activists and organizations.

In 2019, The Israeli government decided to expel Omar Shakir, a US citizen who represents HRW in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, over claims of BDS support.

Also in 2019, Netanyahu decided to expel international observers in the West Bank city of Hebron, who were appointed following the massacre of the Ibrahimi mosque in 1994, which was committed by an Israeli settler and backed by Israeli authorities.

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