PA Complains Abbas No Longer Israeli VIP
Palestinian Authority officials complained Monday that Israel has stripped President Mahmoud Abbas of his VIP status and given him a temporary travel permit good for only 60 days.
The officials said Abbas spoke about the matter at an internal meeting of his Fatah Party last week. Abbas reportedly said the new permit is a reflection of Israel's control over the 'Palestinians.'
He also suggested that Israel was punishing him for his now stalled application for recognition of statehood membership at the United Nations.
Israeli officials note Abbas' unilateral tack is a direct violation of the 1993 Oslo accords, which proscribe unilateral moves by either side.
They also note the PA has insisted on adding precondition after precondition as a means of forestalling talks.
In December 2012 officials in Ramallah adopted "a strategy based on continuous efforts along with the international community to secure full recognition and full United Nations membership, pursuing internal reconciliation, and keeping up the popular resistance."
They have also threatened to downgrade all economic and security agreements with Israel while moving to induct Hamas and its terror confederates into the PLO.
Analysts in Arab countries expressed concern the move could herald a shift in Israeli policy aimed at isolating PA leaders similar to the policy embarked on against PLO founder and arch-terrorist Yassir Arafat in the final years of his life.
Israel's move to close the Orient House in eastern Jerusalem and isolate Arafat in Ramallah came after he rejected an Israeli offer for over 90% of Judea and Samaria and instead launched the Second Intifada.
However, Maj. Guy Inbar, a spokesman for the Israeli agency that issues travel documents to PA officials, said Sunday there has been no change in policy.
Inbar said the new permit is the result of a technical glitch that should be resolved soon.