American BDS Students Gets Another Chance: Deportation Frozen by High Court

US student refused entry to Israel launches final appeal

Israel's Supreme Court Sunday froze the deportation of a US student who was denied entry into the country due to her alleged connection to a Palestinian movement. On Sunday, her lawyers said she filed a dual motion to Israel's Supreme Court to block her looming deportation and consider a last-ditch appeal for entry.

The court said a temporary injunction had been ordered forbidding removal of 22-year-old Lara Alqasem, over her alleged involvement in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement - an worldwide campaign that calls for boycotts of Israel over concerns surrounding the country's treatment of Palestinians.

In airport detention since then, she has been contesting the exclusion, with the backing of Jerusalem's Hebrew University, where she was due to begin a year-long master's program on Sunday.

Judge Uzi Vogelman of the High Court of Justice handed down the decision, freezing the deportation order less than an hour before the deadline set by the Tel Aviv District Court.

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His government says Students for Justice activities included a campaign to boycott Sabra hummus, made and sold in the United States by a company partly owned by a firm in Israel.

Asked about the case on Sunday, he said it was now in the hands of the court.

Lara Alqasem has been held in detention since arriving in the country on October 2 with a valid student visa. "They'll decide whether they handle it or not", he told a gathering of foreign Christian journalists.

Our request is made as part of the global BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign which was launched in 2005 by Palestinian civil society groups to bring pressure to end Israeli apartheid. She will be allowed to remain in the country pending the Supreme Court appeal, scheduled to take place on Wednesday, her lawyer Leora Bechor said. Alqasem has strong support from the leftist community in Israel, as well as from Hebrew University and the university from which she graduated.

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