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US to let Israelis enter visa-free, citing less discrimination

People leave Israel's Ben Gurion Airport near Lod as anti-government demonstrators rally in July 2023
— Washington (AFP)

The United States said Wednesday it will start letting Israelis visit without visas, granting a key wish of its ally after concluding it had reduced discrimination against Arab Americans -- an assessment rejected by some lawmakers and activists.

By the end of November, Israelis will be in the same league as citizens of most Western nations by not needing visas for trips of 90 days or less to the world's largest economy.

"We have been working on this for years, almost a decade," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

"I would like to express our appreciation to US President Joe Biden for his support of the initiative, which will further strengthen ties between the two peoples," he said.

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