JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel has lifted its ban on the iPad.
The Communications Ministry announced Saturday evening that it will allow personal imports of the Apple iPad into the country.
Since its release two weeks ago, Israeli customs officials had been confiscating the device from Israelis entering the country. Officials said the devices were banned because they did not meet Israel’s wireless specifications and could place a strain on the wireless Internet in Israel.
But a report in Time magazine suggested that the reason might have more to do with personal politics: iDigital, Apple’s sole official Israeli importer, is owned by Chemi Peres, son of Israeli President Shimon Peres, and the ban might have been about protecting his monopoly.
A Communications Ministry statement released Saturday said, "The scrutiny conducted by the Ministry technical team vis-à-vis Apple’s team, International laboratory and European counterparts confirmed that the device which could be operated in various standards will be operated in Israel in accordance to the local standards."