Hanan Ashrawi, a leading figure in Palestinian politics over several decades, said Monday she had been denied a visa to enter the United States.
“It is official! My US visa application has been rejected. No reason given,” she wrote on Twitter.
Ashrawi, a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said she had been a frequent visitor to the United States since studying for her PhD there.
“I’ve met (& even negotiated with) every Sec. of State since Shultz, & every President since George H. W. Bush (present administration excluded),” she wrote, noting that she has “been a vocal critic” of the Trump administration.
Ashrawi said that “most of all,” she has “no tolerance for the Israeli occupation in all its manifestations as a most pervasive form of oppression, dispossession & denial.”
“I’m guilty of all of the above, & as such this administration has decided I do not deserve to set foot in the US,” she concluded following her extensive cataloging of her character. “I just hope someone can explain this to my grandchildren & all the rest of my family there.”
A State Department spokesperson would not confirm or deny that Ashrawi’s visa had been rejected, saying “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,” they said in a statement. “Visas may be denied only on grounds set out in US law.”
In February, the Trump administration’s Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt – with whom Ashrawi has sparred via Twitter on numerous occasions – said she had an open invitation to DC.
“Dr. Ashrawi- my door is always open to the PA & Palestinians to speak. In fact, I’ve met many Palestinians over the past 14 months & continue to. I’m happy to meet anytime- you, Saeb & all your colleagues are ALWAYS welcome to visit me at the @WhiteHouse to speak in person,” he wrote on Twitter.
Ashrawi’s visa rejection comes as the Trump administration continues to tease its long-awaited Middle East peace plan, the prospects of which Ashrawi has criticized.
In May 2018, following the move of the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Ashrawi told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that “the US has dealt a serious blow, if not a death blow, to the peace process.”
“It has disqualified itself as a peacemaker or an intermediary,” she said.
In March, the administration closed the US Consulate General in Jerusalem, which had functioned as the US mission to the Palestinians since the 1990s. It shuttered the PLO office in Washington and revoked the visas of its US representative, Husam Zomlot, and his family. It has also cut millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinians.
CNN’s Andrew Carey and Oren Liebermann contributed to this report.