Israel's attorney general says security officials may continue the practice of searching emails of some foreigners who want to enter Israel.

Nadim Aboud of the attorney general's office wrote to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel Wednesday, saying officials may ask a person to open an email account for checks if they believe the person is suspect.

Abboud wrote potential entrants may refuse, but that would be a factor in deciding whether a person would be allowed entry.

The ruling follows an uproar last year when some visitors trying to enter Israel were ordered to open their emails after hours of interrogation at Israel's Ben-Gurion airport. Two Palestinian-American women were forbidden from entering after email checks were conducted.

ACRI says the attorney general's letter effectively legalizes the email checks.