Israel Held American Student At The Airport For Over Two Weeks Before Deciding She Could Stay

Grace Carr | Reporter

An American student held at Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport will be released after more than two weeks at the airport, following suspicions that she was part of a boycott campaign against the nation-state.

University of Florida 22-year-old Lara Alqasem sought to study at Hebrew University in Israel and was apprehended over alleged support for a boycott campaign, The Associated Press reported Thursday.

Alqasem will be released according to her lawyers, who indicated that the nation’s Supreme Court accepted her Wednesday appeal for release. She first appealed to a lower court and was denied.

Israeli officials have held Alqasem at the airport since Oct. 2.


Alqasem will be released from detention immediately and permitted to pursue her course of study at the Hebrew University, according to The AP.

EL AL jet plane at the Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, April 2008. Shutterstock/ChameleonsEye

Roughly 7.3 million people live in Israel, and it has only one major international airport. It relies heavily on behavioral and racial profiling of travelers, and the airport has never seen a terrorist attempt or hijacking on any of its outgoing airplanes. The country sees approximately 11 million total airline travelers each year. (RELATED: The Israelis Are Right: Profiling Makes Sense)

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