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Israel rejects appeal by US student detained for Palestine support

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Eng363JERUSALEM (PNIC):-The Israeli District Court rejected on Friday the appeal by the American student who was barred entry to Israel over alleged ties to the boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and detained for 10 days.

Lara Alqasem, who has Palestinian grandparents, arrived at Ben-Gurion airport on 2 October to study for a master's degree at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Israeli officials didn't allow her to enter the country, however, despite the fact that she holds a student visa to study in Israel. She has been held at a detention facility at the airport near Tel Aviv since that time. She launched an appeal of her pending deportation.

Israeli judge Erez Yekuel ruled that the Israeli government's decision to bar Lara Alqasem, 22, from entering the country was reasonable.

"The call for participation in a boycott against the state is likely to be considered as encouragement to participate in illegal activity .... There is no dispute that between 2014 and 2017, Alqasem was a member of a student organization and for two years served as its president," he said.

Alqasem's lawyer, Yotam Ben Hillel, told Haaretz on Friday that she "regrets the verdict".

"It's a sad day. She is reading the verdict and considering her next steps," Ben Hillel said.

Alqasem can still request that Israel's Supreme Court hear her case, Haaretz reported, as her deportation has been delayed until 10am on 14 October.

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