The US condemned Israel on Tuesday for supposed unequal treatment of US citizens traveling to the country, following reports that Palestinian-Americans have been asked to enter Israel through the Allenby Bridge from Jordan rather than Ben-Gurion Airport.
However, the condition is in fact stipulated by the 1993 Oslo Accords, according to which Palestinian Arabs with dual American citizenship who are listed in the Palestinian Authority (PA) population registry are required to enter in from Jordan, rather than via a flight to Ben-Gurion Airport.
"The US government seeks equal treatment and freedom to travel for all US citizens regardless of national origin or ethnicity," State Department spokesman John Kirby said.
"Specifically, the US government remains concerned at the unequal treatment that Palestinian-Americans and other Arab-Americans receive at Israel's borders and checkpoints."
Kirby did not address the specifics of individual reports, instead referring reporters to Israeli authorities.
He did acknowledge that the State Department has posted on its website that Israel views anyone "believed to have claim" to a PA ID card – meaning anyone with a parent or grandparent born or who lived in Judea, Samaria or Gaza – as a Palestinian resident, regardless of whether they are also a US citizen.
As such, they are required to enter via the Allenby Bridge on the Jordanian border rather than through the airport.
"Many Palestinian nationals or dual nationals seeking to enter via Ben-Gurion have been sent back to the United States upon arrival," the website notes. "Others have been allowed to enter Israel but told they cannot depart Israel via Ben-Gurion without special permission, which is rarely granted."
Kirby said this was an ongoing subject of discussions between the US and its ally Israel.
"We regularly raise with Israeli authorities concerns about the issue of equal treatment for all US citizens at ports of entry," he said.