Palestinian peace activist barred from entering the United States | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Palestinian peace activist barred from entering the United States

A Palestinian peace activist was denied entry to the United States and deported, despite having a valid visa.

Osama Iliwat, 42, was questioned over the course of eight hours by officials from Customs and Border Protection at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City on Feb. 24 before he was sent on a flight back home. He was embarking on a speaking tour for Combatants for Peace, a group of Israelis and Palestinians who, according to its website, “have taken an active part in the cycle of violence; Israelis as soldiers in the Israeli army and Palestinians as part of the violent struggle for Palestinian freedom,” but now advocate joint nonviolent activism.

Iliwat had a three-year visa that allowed him to visit the United States, but Customs and Border Protection annulled it before Iliwat was deported. A Customs and Border Protection spokesman said the agency does not generally comment on individual cases. But according to documents obtained by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Iliwat was sent back on suspicion of wanting to remain in the United States as an immigrant.

He said the reason is a false pretense for keeping him out of the country. Less than a year ago, he traveled to the United States for a similar tour without incident. His deportation was first reported this month by +972 Magazine, an Israeli publication.

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