The VIPs‘ hush money

18.01.2012                      23.Tewet. 5772


The VIPs' hush money

It's no coincidence that a group of young Palestinians now organizing protests in the West Bank against a return to negotiations is called 'Palestinians for Dignity'.

Two people signed the entry permit into Israel that Mahmoud Abbas received from Israel's Civil Administration on January 1 (and which will be in force until March 1 ): 1st Lt. Noy Mitzrafi, commander of the permits office, and Lt. Col. Wissam Hamed, a department head in the Israel Defense Forces' operations directorate. It is this limited permit that Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president and PLO chairman, complained of receiving instead of his normal VIP permit during a closed meeting of his Fatah faction.
The permit also states that Abbas lives in the Gaza Strip (where, as is well known, he has not set foot since 2007 ); that he is "allowed to go into Israel, except for Eilat, and into the Judea and Samaria region [i.e. the West Bank]," but not to drive a car in Israel. It states that his reason for entry is that he is "a senior PA official"; that he may stay overnight only in the West Bank or Gaza, even though the permit is in force from 00:00 to 00:00 (midnight to midnight ). Also, it says he is allowed to move about without a magnetic ID card, but the permit is "valid despite the [security] prevention" – meaning the Shin Bet security service registers him as a security menace, but the permit is given as a gesture of kindness….