The grandmother of U.S. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib said on Saturday that she supported her granddaughter’s decision not to visit her in the West Bank under conditions set by Tel Aviv, despite looking forward to see her.
In an interview with Anadolu Agency, Muftiyye Tlaib spoke on the U.S congresswoman’s reaction against Israeli administrations “oppressive conditions” and the family’s original plans for Rashida Tlaib’s visit.
Grandmother Tlaib said she missed her granddaughter and was saddened by her decision not to visit the region, but that she fully supported the move taken in protest of the Israeli government’s demeanor.
“We started preparations to welcome her after learning about Rashida’s visit,” said Muftiyye Tlaib, adding that she planned to arrange celebrations for her granddaughter.
She added that she even prepared a traditional Palestinian dress to give U.S. congressman as a gift.
Uncle Basim Tlaib slammed Israel for imposing conditions for his niece’s visit, underlining that Rashida Tlaib had the right to visit her country and family.
He added that Israeli forces occupying the West Bank did not want someone supporting Palestinians’ rights and publicly decrying Tel Aviv’s unjust policies.
Israel on Thursday opted to block Rashida Tlaib and fellow congresswoman Ilhan Omar from visiting the country and the occupied West Bank, sparking widespread outcry.
Tel Aviv later said it may consider a humanitarian request by Tlaib to visit to her family, though this was rejected by Tlaib due to various restrictions on the visit.
Tlaib said on Twitter: “Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me. It would kill a piece of me. I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in–fighting against racism, oppression & injustice.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his government was blocking congresswomen Tlaib and Omar due to their support for an international boycott movement of Israel.
The elected representatives have been vocal proponents of the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement which seeks to ramp up economic pressure on Israel for its treatment of Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories, and its continued construction of settlements in the West Bank which are illegal under international law.