Yumna Patel writes in Mondoweiss:
Palestinians are joining the chorus of international condemnation facing Israel for barring entry to US Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar ahead of their planned delegation to the occupied Palestinian territory.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision came just days before Tlaib, Omar, and other democrats were set to travel to the West Bank. It remained unclear if the rest of the delegation would continue on the trip without Tlaib and Omar.
The announcement ignited reactions of frustration and disappointment from Palestinians, who were hoping the unprecedented delegation would not only help strengthen strained US-Palestinian relations, but serve as a means for building more solidarity with the Palestinian cause at the highest levels of government.
“We are extremely disappointed and saddened that Rashida and her colleagues won’t be coming to visit us in Palestine,” Muhammad Tlaib, 44, a cousin of Congresswoman Tlaib and former mayor of her hometown in the West Bank, Beit Ur al-Fauqa, told Mondoweiss.
Al-Shabaka Policy Member Fadi Quran echoed similar sentiments to Mondoweiss, saying there was a definite air of sadness in Palestine as the news spread. “People were excited to meet with Tlaib and Omar, because they [Palestinians] saw the congresswomen as a sign of hope in an extremely darkening political landscape,” Quran said.