Kuwait denies reports it allowed in Israeli journalist

August 26, 2010
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Kuwait’s interior ministry denied reports that an Israeli journalist had visited the country.

“No Israeli passport holder has been allowed into Kuwait,” Shaikh Jaber Al Khalid told reporters following a meeting with the parliamentarian committee of interior and defense affairs. “I have explained this to committee and its members understand the issue,” he said, cited by local media.

A heated debate on the alleged visit by an Israeli journalist has been raging in Kuwait amid official denials and lawmakers’ insistence on details.

“The State does not deal with people coming into Kuwait on the basis of their religion, but on the passport they have,” Shaikh Jaber said. “I can assure you that no Israeli national has or will come into the country.”

Kuwait, like most Arab countries, has no diplomatic relations with Israel.

In April, Kuwait denied reports that Israeli nationals have been allowed into the country and challenged those who support the allegation to present their evidence.

 “The reports that Israeli citizens using Israeli passports have been allowed into Kuwait are baseless and lack credibility,” the interior ministry said. “Anyone seeking to visit Kuwait but using a passport that has an Israeli stamp is barred from entering the country. Whoever has evidence about Israelis allowed into the country should present it to the relevant authorities to avoid confusion,” the ministry said.

In March, Eldad Beck, an Israeli journalist with Israel’s daily Yedioth Aharonot said that he was able to enter several Arab and Muslim countries without revealing his identity. However, he did not mention Kuwait as one of the countries he visited.

The journalist said that he hid his true identity by using a non-Israeli passport and strolled unnoticed in marketplaces and mosques and sat at several cafés.

The controversy was re-ignited this month.

In a phone interview with Al Rai newspaper from his home in Berlin, the Haifa-born journalist reportedly said that the main reason behind his visit to Kuwait was “based on interest in Kuwait’s domestic situation since the majority of the Gulf states share a similar concern with Israel regarding the Iranian nuclear threat.”

“I’m an Israeli-European journalist who lives in Europe, and I visited Kuwait as part of my job in order to provide people in Europe and Israel with insight into what’s going on in that state and other Middle Eastern countries,” he reportedly said.

Beck said that he had used his German passport since “it is impossible to use the Israeli passport to enter Kuwait and most Arab countries.”

 

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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