JERUSALEM: Israeli Jews born in the seven countries included under US President Donald Trump’s travel restrictions will not be banned from America, the country’s embassy in Tel Aviv said on Tuesday.

The executive order signed on Friday banned nationals of seven mainly Muslim countries from the Middle East and Africa for 90 days but has sparked confusion in its interpretation.

Israel is home to around 140,000 people born in the seven countries covered by the decree, including about 45,000 from Iran and 53,000 from Iraq, according to official statistics.

Many fled persecution, and the majority are now over the age of 65.

Their Israeli passports say where they were born but most do not still have the nationality of their country of birth.

The Israeli government had been seeking clarification as to whether they were included in the ban.

“If you have a currently valid US visa in your Israeli passport and were born in Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen, and do not have a valid passport from one of these countries, your visa was not cancelled and remains valid,” a US embassy statement said.

“We continue to process visa applications for applicants born in those countries, so long as they do not have a valid passport from one of those countries,” it added.

Published in Dawn, February 1st, 2017

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