Despite yesterday’s sudden ban on unmarried students entering Israel, numerous students- who had previously received permits- succeeded in boarding flights yesterday (Wednesday). Single students who arrived on United Flight 90 from Newark entered Israel without incident. However, seven single yeshiva students on Delta Flight 234, did not fare as well.
The group was detained upon arrival, and was told that they would be returned to the United States. Chaim V’Chessed was contacted shortly after their arrival, and immediately activated numerous contacts in an attempt to have the students released.
At first, Border Police officers were insistent that the students be sent back on the very plane they’d arrived on. Chaim V’Chessed officials spent nearly four hours on the matter, holding talks with a bevy of officials.
Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and his staff made extensive efforts to assist the students. Journalist Moshe Erlanger was especially instrumental in advocating for their release.
We are pleased to report that after more than five hours, the efforts paid off. The group has just been told that they will be allowed to enter the country. However, they are being sent to a state quarantine hotel.
This should be a cautionary tale – single students should not attempt to travel to Israel at this time, even if they have previously received entry permits.