Axios: 'Israel' violating US visa privileges by blocking West Bank
A US official underlines that if a solution is not found within weeks, the US might have to suspend "Israel's" visa waiver privileges.
Israeli and US officials told Axios that "Israel" was warned by the Biden administration of its violation of the visa waiver agreement with the US by preventing dual citizen Palestinian Americans from the occupied West Bank from entering "Israel" since the Oct. 7 attacks.
This relates to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas' decision at the end of September to allow "Israel" to join the US Visa Waiver Program which it was supposed to enter at the end of November, but took effect on October 19 - 12 days after the aggressions began.
Israeli officials claim this was a move of solidarity with the Israelis by the Biden administration. After October 7, the IOF imposed a closure on the Occupied West Bank and barred entry for Palestinians living there, which impacted tens of thousands of Palestinian Americans.
US and Israeli officials state that the newly-confirmed US Ambassador to "Israel", Jack Lew, convened several days ago with Israeli National Security Advisor, Tzachi Hanegbi.
Lew relayed to Hanegbi that "Israel" is violating the visa waiver agreement by restricting movement for Palestinian Americans from the West Bank, as he requested Hanegbi to ensure it conforms to the agreement. Hanegbi replied by stating his commitment to look into the issue and find a solution, and a US official claimed that the Biden administration will give (or buy) "Israel" some more time to work out a solution.
UN officials denied visas by 'Israel'
However, the official underlined that if a solution is not found within weeks, the US might have to suspend "Israel's" visa waiver privileges.
According to Israeli media, Gilad Erdan, "Israel's" ambassador to the UN, declared on Army Radio that "Israel" would no longer grant visas to UN representatives as a result of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' comments regarding Israeli crimes in Gaza. Martin Griffiths, the undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, has already had his visa denied. It is now necessary "to teach them a lesson," as per the Israeli occupation.
"Israel" demanded the resignation of Guterres after his speech, in which he highlighted Israeli crimes and "the clear violations of international humanitarian law that we are witnessing in Gaza," stating that the Resistance's operation on October 7 cannot justify the "collective punishment of the Palestinian people."