Court Rules Detained American Must Be Allowed To Study In Israel

Screen capture from video of Khalid Batarfi a senior figure with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula

Screen capture from video of Khalid Batarfi a senior figure with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula

"This is a 22-year-old who definitely can not be in support of an academic boycott", Alqasem's attorney Leora Bechor said before the decision.

The Supreme Court overturned the lower courts' rulings on Thursday because it found that in seeking to study at Hebrew University, Alqasem was pursuing an increased connection to Israel - rather than a boycott of the country.

"The Supreme Court's decision is a victory for free speech, academic freedom, and the rule of law".

Israel's supreme court on Thursday overturned an entry ban imposed on a U.S. student over past support for a pro-Palestinian boycott campaign, leading to her release after more than two weeks of detention.

Although she was free to return to the US, Alqasem chose to challenge the ban and remained in detention at Ben Gurion Airport for over two weeks.

Her lawyers, however, argued that Alqasem "does not meet the evidentiary test of what it means to be an activist", adding that there is "no paper or digital trail" that she is a BDS activist, and that she has made no public statements in support of the movement.

Gilad Erdan, one of the Israeli security cabinet ministers charged with implementing the anti-boycotter law, suggested that Alqasem's studies at an Israeli university were no guarantee against future BDS activity.

Lara Alqasem, the American student detained in Israel's airport, will be allowed to stay and study in the country, Israel's Supreme Court ruled.

"The Law of Entry to Israel is meant to protect the state's sovereignty, and the public's safety and security".

USA student Lara Alqasem attends a hearing at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem on October 17, 2018.

Her lawyers said they were heartened by the decision, which Israeli prosecutors said on Thursday that they would not appeal.

Hebrew University, which has lobbied the state to admit Alqasem, also celebrated the ruling.

At the time, Haaretz reported that Alqasem received a student visa from the Consulate General of Israel in Miami to begin the master's program.

But Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin called the court decision "shameful" and said that with their decision, the justices "were continuing to act against Israeli democracy and the clear lawmaking of the Knesset".

A graduate student from Florida won her appeal in Israel's Supreme Court Thursday; that means Lara Alqasem is no longer forbidden from entering Israel and can enroll in Hebrew University.

"Where is our national dignity?" "This conduct does not accord, to put it lightly, with the charge that the plaintiff is a covert boycott activist who is likely to take advantage of her stay in Israel to advance the BDS movement".

"I shall look into how to prevent such a thing happening again".

"We will examine the legal criteria in order to ensure that the original intent of the law is maintained", he said.

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