March 7, 2017 / 1:11 AM / 5 months ago

New Israeli law bars entry to foreigners supporting Israel boycott

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's parliament on Monday passed a law barring foreigners who publicly support an anti-Israel boycott from entering the country.

"In recent years calls to boycott Israel have been growing," parliament said on its website after the law was approved. "It seems this is a new front in the war against Israel, which until now the country had not prepared for properly."

Individuals or representatives of groups publicly calling for a boycott - excluding Israeli citizens and permanent residents - will not be granted visas, according to the law.

It was unclear when the new policy would take effect, and the law said exceptions could be made.

The vote passed 46 to 28, with some in the opposition saying it was better to engage detractors, and that the new law will play into the hands of those attacking Israel.

Israel has long decried groups like the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement who want to isolate Israel over policies towards the Palestinians.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in 2014.

Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Jonathan Oatis

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