Israelis exempt from US visa requirement, easing travel for Palestinians

ben gurion international airport
Ben Gurion Airport. (File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Starting in October, Israelis entering the US will beexempt from needing a visa to enter the country. The visa exemption program aims to ease travel for Palestinians with American citizenship from the West Bank to the US. This initiative will allow Palestinians to travel to the US via Ben Gurion Airport in Central Israel and Ramon Airport in Southern Israel. Without any obstacles. اضافة اعلان

Currently, Palestinians, regardless of their additional nationality, must leave the West Bank and reenter it through the Allenby Crossing if they wish to travel to the United States, i24 News reported. However, around 30,000 Palestinians are annually allowed to travel to the US for humanitarian purposes.

Conditions set by the US
To be accepted into the visa waiver program, Israel must meet a condition set by the US. This condition demands that American citizens, regardless of their origin, be permitted to enter Israel freely and travel through the country without being subjected to discriminatory treatment during security checks. The US has made it clear that failure to meet this condition will result in Israel being excluded from the exemption program, which is scheduled to take effect in October.

In theory, Israel has the right to individually deny entry to Palestinians holding American citizenship if there are concerns related to criminal activities, security, immigration, or health. However, the key issue lies in ensuring compliance with the American requirement for equal treatment of American and Israeli citizens regarding their free entry and exit.

Avoidance of discrimination
Recently, members of the US Congress have urged the administration not to approve Israel's entry into the visa waiver program unless Israel commits to avoiding any discrimination against Palestinians with American citizenship.

Senior officials at the US embassy have expressed concerns about the limited time available for Israel to fulfill the necessary requirements related to data sharing and information systems across various government entities. These systems need to be developed, implemented, and tested before the deadline.

If all the requirements are met, Israelis will be able to travel to the US without a visa for tourism or business trips lasting less than 90 days starting from October 1.

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