Israeli court hears US student’s appeal against detention

An American graduate student is appealing her detention at Israel’s international airport over allegations she promotes a boycott of the Jewish state.

A Tel Aviv court heard Lara Alqasem’s case on Thursday. She is to remain in detention until it delivers a ruling.

The 22-year-old American with Palestinian grandparents landed at Ben-Gurion Airport last week with a valid student visa and was registered to study human rights at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University.

But she was barred from entering the country and ordered deported, based on suspicions she’s an activist in the boycott movement. Israel says she can leave any time.

Israel enacted a law last year banning entry for any foreigner who “knowingly issues a public call for boycotting Israel.” It’s come under heavy criticism for its handling of Alqasem’s case.

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