BDS anti-Israel activist denied entry to Israel at Ben Gurion airport

An anti-Israel activist was denied entry into the country, in the first such case since a bill was introduced to the Knesset barring anti-Israel supporters of the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement from entering Israel.

According to the strategic affairs ministry, the woman, Isabel Phiri, a Malawi national, has been active since 2002 in the World Council of Churches,  which is a supporter of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), and has advanced anti-Israel activities.


The EAPPI states on its website that its mission is to “witness life under occupation, engage with local Palestinians and Israelis pursuing a just peace, to change the international community’s involvement in the conflict, urging them to act against injustice in the region.”

The EAPPI said that it has brought more than 1,500 international volunteers to Judea and Samaria since 2012.

No additional details were immediately available.

A bill that would deny activists who support the BDS movement entry to Israel was approved by the government on November 14 in its first reading.

The bill passed its first reading in Israel’s Knesset by a landslide 42 to 15 in favor, with seven abstentions.

The proposed legislation would allow Israeli authorities to bar individuals or representatives of NGO’s calling for a boycott on Israel from entering the country, and would apply to all non-Israeli citizens or permanent residents.

The minister of interior would have the ability to make exemptions. Under current law, the interior minister already has the right to prohibit individuals from entering Israel.