By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - Israeli officials are considering banning two U.S. congresswomen from entering the country because of their support for an international boycott movement of Israel, according to multiple reports published Thursday.
Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar were scheduled to visit Israel and the occupied West Bank this weekend, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly convened with his top officials to discuss their possible denial.
Tlaib and Omar were previously allowed to visit Israel. Ron Dermer, Israel's U.S. envoy, said last month that the lawmakers would be let in out of respect for the U.S.-Israel relationship and the Congress.
Israel has recently instituted a law banning people who publicly support the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement from entering the country. The pro-Palestinian movement seeks to ramp up economic pressure on Israel for its treatment of Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories, and its construction of settlements in the West Bank that are considered illegal under international law.
The apparent about-face on Tlaib and Omar's ability to travel to Israel comes as Netanyahu is in the run-up to nationwide elections Sept. 17. He is in a tight race to maintain his decade-old hold on power.
Netanyahu's government is expected to announce a final decision Thursday. But U.S. President Donald Trump chimed in on the matter on Twitter, writing "it would show great weakness" if Tlaib and Omar were to visit.
"They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds," Trump said, falsely claiming the two congresswomen are anti-Semitic. "They are a disgrace!"