On Monday, leading Palestinian legislator, activist, and scholar Hanan Ashrawi said she had been denied a visa to enter the United States.
In a thread uploaded on Twitter, Ashrawi satirically listed all the possible reasons to why her visa would be rejected. In her first tweet, she wrote: "It is official! My US visa application has been rejected. No reason given. Choose any of the following: I'm over 70 & a grandmother; I've been an activist for Palestine since the late 1960's; I've always been an ardent supporter of nonviolent resistance."
In follow up posts, the member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) noted that she is a vocal critic of President Donald Trump. She also hinted at the fact that his administration didn't want her in the country because of her intolerance of Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine.
Members of Ashrawi's family live in the states and she had made frequent visits to the country in recent years.
In a statement to CNN, a State Department spokesperson didn't confirm or deny that Ashrawi's visa had been rejected, saying that "visa records are confidential under US law; therefore, we cannot discuss the details of individual visa cases."
"US law does not authorize the refusal of visas based solely on political statements or views if those statements or views would be lawful in the United States. Visas may be denied only on grounds set out in US law," they added.
The Palestinian activist's visa rejection comes at a time when the Trump administration continues to throw hints about its long-awaited Middle East peace plan, which has been heavily criticized by Ashrawi in the past.
In May 2018, the politician spoke out against U.S. administration's decision to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, describing it as "a serious blow, if not a death blow, to the peace process." Last March, Trump's administration closed the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem. It shut down the "PLO in Washington and revoked the visas of its U.S. representative, Husam Zomlot, and his family."
Since being elected as President, Trump has also cut millions of dollars in vital aid to Palestinians.
Many are shocked by the news
"Fear of Palestinian women"
"This is outrageous and indefensible"
Ashrawi has long been a critic of the Trump administration
In a 2017 interview with StepFeed, the leader said she didn't have much hope with Trump leading peace negotiations.
"First of all, he's not an ideologue, he's a businessman. Making peace agreements is not a business agreement, it's quite different," she explained.
"Given the fact that this administration has been elected on the basis of a very misogynist, Islamophobic, xenophobic agenda, not a peace and human rights and peace agenda, it's very hard to see how it can reconcile with the essence of the Palestinian cause," she added.
At the time, Ashrawi also stated that Trump cannot be seen as a neutral bystander or an even-handed peacemaker when it comes to the Israel-Palestine conflict. This is because his administration includes people "who are zionists, and who support the settler movement."