17:04 GMT +319 December 2018
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    FIle photo of an EL AL Boeing 777 aircraft at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv, Israel (File)

    Israeli Court Upholds Barring of US Student, Rejects Her Appeal

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    American student Lara Alqasem was previously barred from the country over her alleged activities in support of an international boycott campaign started by pro-Palestinian organizations.

    Tel Aviv District Court announced Friday it ruled to reject an appeal of the US citizen who had been previously refused entry upon flying into Israel.

    Alqasem, who arrived in the country on a student visa in order to begin a master's degree at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has been held at Israel's Ben Gurion Airport detention center for more than a week over her alleged support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

    READ MORE: American Student Held in Israel Appeals Her Detention Over Activism — Reports

    Commenting on the case, Strategic Affairs Minister of Israel Gilad Erdan stated that his country has the right to protect itself and decide who can or cannot cross its borders. He also noted that Alqasem served as president of "one of the most extreme and hate-filled anti-Israel BDS groups in the US.”

    State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauertt, in turn, told reporters on Wednesday that Israel has a right to determine who should be allowed into the country, without specifying the US position on the issue.

    Related:

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    detention, Ben Gurion International Airport, United States, Israel
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