Delegates who claimed that they had valid visas for entering the West Bank were blocked from entering the area for an important conference this week. The conference was focused on the status of Jerusalem.
Allenby Border Crossing Photo Credit: Flickr/Michael Loadenthal
This Wednesday, the 9th International Conference on the Holy City of Jerusalem began in Ramallah, but a number of delegates were notably absent from attendance. A number of those delegates have claimed that they were given entry permits but Israeli border officials revoked at the Allenby border crossing. As a result, many had to return to Amman. The conference in question was organized by the Palestinian Authority.
Specifically, Ras Mubarak, an MP from Ghana, claimed that he attempted to cross the border twice without being allowed to enter. 65 delegates were allegedly denied entry to attend the conference, but Israel’s Ambassador to Ghana, Ami Mehl, responded directly to the allegations.
In a radio interview with Ghana’s Starr News, Mehl said that the MP came to the border without a visa. While the conference does not state a direct connection to a specific ethnic group or religious community, its participants have predominantly been from Arab and Muslim countries. This year, the topic of the PA-organized conference was centered around Jerusalem’s role as “the capital of Palestine” in response to US President Donald Trump’s decision to move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, a member of the committee that prepared the conference told Al Jazeera.
However, in response to Mubarak’s claim that he was being denied entry due to his view on the status of Jerusalem, Mehl said in his interview that Mubarak was playing into an alleged Palestinian propaganda attempt against Israel. As a result of their denied entry, many of the delegates participated in the conference through video from Amman.