Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas granted Palestinian citizenship Friday to Swedish activist Benjamin Ladraa, who has been walking from Sweden to Palestine to raise awareness of human rights violations.
"This step is taken to appreciate Ladraa's efforts and his position to support the Palestinian people," Abbas said according to a report by the official Wafa news agency.
Ladraa was barred by Israeli police from entering Palestine earlier in the day. Palestinian resistance group Hamas condemned the move. In a brief statement, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said the ban reflects Israel's isolation policy for the Palestinian people and its unfairness and pressure on people in Palestine. The 25-year-old began his walk to Palestine from Sweden nearly a year ago to raise awareness of human rights abuse in the occupied territory.
After arriving at the Israeli border from Jordan, he was barred by Israeli authorities from entering Palestine and kept in custody for six hours.
Ladraa started his journey from Sweden last August and trekked across Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.
Ladraa also received Turkey' Mount of Olives Peace Award in May.
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