Israel’s state security establishment has complained that a prominent Haredim leader, Haaretz, has been banned from entering the country due to his outspoken criticism of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.
In a statement released Tuesday, the security establishment said the move is aimed at pressuring Haaretz and other Haredis to stop speaking out against Israel’s policies in the occupied territories.
The statement did not say how it will proceed.
The statement was signed by Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni, and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.
It noted that Haaretz has been barred from entering Israel for more than a year after being sentenced to prison for a 2010 arson attack on a home owned by the head of Hareda’s Knesset, Yair Lapid.
“The security establishment cannot allow a person who has the power to impose his own views on others to enter our country without the permission of the relevant authorities,” the statement read.
“It is impossible to have a dialogue in a country where there is an occupying power, and in a place where security forces, including the security forces of the state of Israel, are required to defend the interests of the occupying power,” it added.
“It is also impossible for a person to enter without the consent of the government.”
The statement did provide a timeline for the government’s decision to bar Haaretz from entering.
Haaretz’s visit to the Israeli-occupied West Bank in November 2014 sparked international criticism, and he later admitted to burning a Koran and other materials in protest.
He is a member of the hard-line ultra-Orthodox Jewish movement.
Haaretz was born in 1949, and his father, Moshe, was a member in the Knessine party in the early 1990s.