Jerusalem: Israel has revoked VIP passes
allowing Palestinian officials preferential passage through a
land crossing to Jordan, a military spokesman said on Thursday.
Major Guy Inbar said the privileges had been removed
from all officials except Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas
and Prime Minister Salem Fayyad.
He said the decision was made in order to iron out
inequities in the distribution of the passes, which allowed
some officials to transit the Allenby Bridge crossing in their
vehicles while others of similar rank could not.
The bridge is the only land crossing from the occupied
West Bank to Jordan and the wider Arab world.
The move is believed to affect dozens of senior
Palestinians, including former Gaza security chief Mohammed
Dahlan and ex-premier Ahmed Qurei.
Qurei, a member of the Palestinian Liberation
Organisation`s Executive Committee, told AFP that Israeli
soldiers at the bridge stopped him from driving across
"Soldiers... suggested that he and his wife take the
bus like other travellers," according to Israeli news site
Palestinian Authority spokesman Ghassan Khatib told
the official government radio station that Israel was reneging
on agreements regarding the freedom of movement of Palestinian
"It`s a very grave matter which is part of Israeli
measures to stifle the Palestinian people," he said.