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    An Israeli border police officer watches as Israelis wave national flags inside the Old City's Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, Sunday, May 13, 2018

    American Student Held in Israel Appeals Her Detention Over Activism - Reports

    © AP Photo / Ariel Schalit
    Middle East
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - An American student who was denied entry to Israel over her alleged pro-Palestinian activism has appeared in a Tel Aviv court to challenge the decision, CBS News reported on Thursday.

    Lara Alqasem, who has been detained in Israel since being denied entry on October 2 for supporting the "Boycott, Divest, Sanction" (BDS) movement, appealed to the Tel Aviv District Court to be allowed into the country, CBS News reported.

    The court has not yet scheduled a date for its ruling on Alqasem's appeal, which means she will remain in custody until the case is decided, the report added.

    READ MORE: American Grad Student in ‘Longest Ever' Boycott-Related Detention in Israel

    ​Israeli officials have said Alqasem is free to return to the United States if she drops her appeal.

    The student came to Israel with an appropriate visa to study at Jerusalem's Hebrew University. Israeli authorities stopped her at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport and prohibited her entry into the country based on the suspicion that she is an activist of the BDS movement.

    BDS campaigners promote boycotts against Israel in response to the oppression of the Palestinian people. Alqasem's father is of Palestinian descent, but her lawyers say she is no longer active in the BDS movement.

    Alqasem insists that she came to Israel for the sole purpose of studying human rights.

    On Wednesday, Department of State spokeswoman Heather Nauertt told reporters that Israel has a right to determine who should be allowed into the country. She did not mention whether the United States would get involved in the case.

    activism, detention, Israel
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