US academic Noam Chomsky has been refused entry to the West Bank from Jordan by Israeli immigration officials.
The Jewish professor of linguistics and philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who is a vocal critic of Israel, had been due to give a lecture at Birzeit University, near Ramallah.
But today an Israeli Interior Ministry spokesman said that the ministry would do all it could to ensure Professor Chomsky could get into the country.
She said: "We are trying to contact the military to clear things up, and if they have no objection we see no reason why he should not be allowed in."
Professor Chomsky, who was travelling with friends and his daughter Aviva, said he was told that he had been denied entry because of statements he had made about Israel and because he was only attending a Palestinian university, and had no plans to speak at an Israeli university too.
Professor Chomsky told Ha’aretz: “I find it hard to think of a similar case, in which entry to a person is denied because he is not lecturing in Tel Aviv — perhaps only in Stalinist regimes."
Professor Chomsky last visited the area in 1997 where he lectured in both Israel and the Palestinian territory.