(Times of Israel / Worthy News)– In an apparent punitive move following the swearing in of a Palestinian unity government, Israel has revoked special travel permits for all Palestinian Authority officials other than President Mahmoud Abbas, a Palestinian official said Tuesday.
Israel was also revoking free travel rights for members of the outgoing Palestinian government who were not appointed to the Hamas-Fatah unity government and would examine restrictions on other Palestinians with VIP travel passes, said Yoav Mordechai, who heads the Israeli military unit tasked with coordinating activity in the West Bank and Gaza.
The Palestinian official told the London-based, pan-Arab al-Hayat newspaper that Israel wants to prevent ministers in the new government from traveling between the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Israel has also notified the PA that it is considering withholding Palestinian tax revenues estimated at over $100 million, the official said.
On Sunday, the Israeli cabinet members decided not to hold any further negotiations with the PA as long as Hamas, considered a terror group, takes part in government affairs. The cabinet further ruled that Israel would reallocate some Palestinian tax money and use the funds to pay off the Authority’s debts to Israeli companies. The cabinet also barred three Hamas ministers from attending Monday’s government swearing-in ceremony, according to Israel Radio.