Labour Friends of Israel has called for the Home Secretary to ban a leading Palestinian leadership contender from entry into the UK.
LFI chair Joan Ryan MP asked Amber Rudd to bar Jibril Rajoub, a member of Fatah’s Central Committee and head of the Palestinian Olympic Committee, accusing him of glorifying and encouraging terrorism against Israelis.
Rajoub, also known as Abu Rami, was previously head of Palestinian security in the West Bank and is a leading contender to replace Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas when he steps down from his role.
Hebron-born Rajoub has a history of organising attacks against Israeli forces, dating back to the 1960s, but is also seen as a pragmatist, having clamped down on militant activity by Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the 1990s to allow for peace negotiations.
In her letter, Ryan urged the government to deny him entry because “he has a long and consistent history of making statements which seek to incite terrorism and glorify its perpetrators”.
Citing research from an Israeli organisation, Ryan said Rajoub called Muhammad Halabi a “hero” for killing attacking an Israeli family in Jerusalem in October, killing two men and injuring a mother and a two-year old.
A spokesman for Palestinian Media Watch said Rajoub had been “a leading supporter of terror” during the past year, saying his “incitement to murder was calculated and precise”.
The Home Secretary has the power to deny entry to Britain to any non-UK national who seeks to foment, justify or glorify terrorist violence or seeks to provoke others to terrorist acts.
Rajoub was recently described as a “kingmaker” by pro-Israel think-tank BICOM and has riled rival Palestinian factions in the lead-up to elections in the West Bank and Gaza next month, saying Hamas brought “nothing but ruin and destruction”.