JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israel is involved in a diplomatic dispute over its refusal to allow a Chilean national, Mauricio Abu Ghosh, entry into the country because the Foreign Ministry said he was involved in disseminating demonizing libels against the Jewish people.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry issued the following statement Wednesday clarifying its position.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel expresses its dismay over the communiqué issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile with regard to the sovereign decision of the Israeli Minister of Interior to deny Mr. Mauricio Abu Ghosh entry into Israel.
Mr. Abu Ghosh has systematically incited the Chilean public against Israel by disseminating demonizing libels based on racial slurs against the Jewish people and by justifying terrorism against Israeli civilians.
Israel reiterates its long standing tradition of welcoming everyone who wishes to visit the country in good faith. However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to clarify that under the Entry Into Israel Law (1952) (Articles 9 and 10) and in accordance with accepted state practice under international law, the Israeli Minister of Interior has the authority to deny non-citizens entrance into national territory.
Abu Ghosh, 40, presides over the Palestine Federation of Chile, a strong supporter of Palestinian terror groups, including PFLP -- the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Last year, Israel hosted a much larger group of Chileans at its own expense. Thirty-three Chilean miners, rescued after 69 days underground, and their families were invited to visit Israel by the Tourism Ministry.