(August 14, 2019 / JNS) Israeli security officials are holding discussions in preparation for the possible visit by Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem during a planned trip to Israel and the disputed territories.
Israel’s Channel 13 reported that officials preparing for the likelihood that Omar and Tlaib, both Muslim, will visit Muslim holy sites on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
According to the report, security will likely prevent the congresswomen, who are expected to arrive in Israel on Sunday, from being accompanied by Palestinian Authority officials in order to prevent the symbolic backing of U.S. lawmakers for Palestinian sovereignty at the holy site.
Additionally, the report said that the goal, even in terms of appearances, is to “minimize as much as possible the damage to Israel in the U.S. political system and public opinion.”
Amid speculation last month that Israel may block the congresswomen from visiting the country because of their support for BDS, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer said that “out of respect for the U.S. Congress,” the lawmakers would be allowed to enter the country.