Jarrar left Ramallah on Sunday for the border crossing between Israel and Jordan, from where he planned to catch a plane to New York. To his surprise, Israeli security denied his routine exit and forced him to turn back and miss his flight.
Israel gained control of the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967, and has since imposed strict limits on Palestinian movement, citing security concerns and a history of terror attacks, including suicide bombings.
Jarrar told BuzzFeed he still does not know why he was barred from exiting. He said his documents were in order and he had just attended an art event in Paris in June. Israel has tightened security at all of its borders since fighting between Israel and Gaza renewed on July 8. Jarrar was one of a number of Palestinians turned back late Sunday night after six hours waiting at the border.
Jarrar had planned to attend the July 15 opening of “Here and Elsewhere,” an exhibit at the New Museum featuring contemporary art from and about the Arab world, where his award-winning film, “Infiltrators” is being played.
Jarrar has crossed from the West Bank into Jordan many times before with the right permit and no trouble. But his work has centered on continued Israeli restrictions on Palestinian movement both inside and outside the Palestinian Territories.
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