Israeli co-leader of the Zionist Union party, Labour Party's leader and head of the opposition, Isaac Herzog, attends the Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth's anti-BDS conference in Jerusalem on March 28, 2016. AFP / MENAHEM KAHANA
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A new Israeli law banning entry to foreigners who support boycotting the country came under fire Tuesday from human rights groups and the opposition, who called it "thought control" harmful to Israel's international standing.The approval of the law late Monday was defended by government ministers and supporters as a necessary response to the movement that calls for Israel to be boycotted over its 50-year occupation of the Palestinian territories.Last year, Israel budgeted 118 million shekels ($32 million, 30 million euros) to fight the movement."We think that border control should not be used as thought control," Hagai El-Ad, executive director of prominent Israeli human rights group B'Tselem, told journalists.He added that Israel also controls who enters the Palestinian territories, apart from through one border crossing into Gaza from Egypt, and said the law could "absolutely" affect his group's work.
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