"The Israeli Supreme Court decided today to release Lara Alqasem from her detention at Ben Gurion airport and enable her to start her studies, hopefully next week at Hebrew U (Hebrew University of Jerusalem). Start the programme she was accepted to in transitional justice. We are really happy that the Supreme Court decided that the Ministry of Interior cannot just deny entry to Israel from people who criticise Israel policy without basic grounds and without sufficient evidence. And we are really happy for this decision. We just spoke to Lara few minutes ago, she was really excited to be released and to start her programme next week. And we really hope that this decision will help maintain the freedom of speech and the academic freedom in Israel."
Israel's Supreme Court on Thursday overturned an appeals court ruling that agreed with the government's decision to bar an American graduate student from entering the country over her alleged involvement in the boycott movement against the Jewish state.
The court accepted Lara Alqasem's appeal, saying her desire to study in Israel undermines the premise of her alleged support for a boycott.
Alqasem's lawyer said she was released from Ben Gurion International airport, where she had been held in detention since arriving in the country on 2 October with a valid student visa to study at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Alqasem, 22, a Florida native whose father is Palestinian, is a former president of the University of Florida chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine.
The group is a branch of the BDS movement, named for its support of boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel.
The country's Strategic Affairs Ministry, which spearheads the government's efforts against the boycott campaign, describes Alqasem's group as an extremist organisation, and says BDS aims to delegitimise or even destroy the Jewish state.
Alqasem has fought her expulsion order for more than two weeks, the longest anyone has been held in a boycott-related case.