Israel revokes entry permit of senior Palestinian official | Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Three Fatah officials had their entry permits revoked after visiting an Israeli Palestinian who was released from prison.

Israel says it has revoked entry permits for three senior officials from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party after they visited an Israeli Palestinian who had just been released from prison.

Mahmud al-Alul, Azzam al-Ahmad and Rawhi Fattouh visited Karim Youni in his hometown of Ara in northern Israel after being released on Thursday after serving a 40-year prison sentence for the murder of an Israeli soldier.

“Three men took advantage of their position and entered Israel this morning [Saturday] to the home of terrorist Karim Younis,” defense minister Yoav Galant’s office said in a statement later on Saturday. Galant ordered the revocation of their Israeli entry permit in response, it said.

The move follows Friday’s decision by the Israeli security cabinet to withhold $39 million in revenue from the Palestinian Authority and to impose a moratorium on Palestinian construction projects in most of the West Bank due to Israel occupied.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said the decision was in response to the recent meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. Vote in favor of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory to the International Court of Justice at the request of the PA.

Israel’s Security Cabinet also said it would deduct additional revenue that it normally transfers to the cash-strapped PA – an amount equivalent to what the authorities paid last year to the families of Palestinian prisoners and those killed in the conflict, including those involved in attacks against the Israelis.

Palestinian leaders describe the payments as necessary social welfare, while Israel says the so-called Martyrs Fund encourages violence. Israel’s withholding of funds risks exacerbating the PA’s financial difficulties.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said: “Israel extortion of our tax revenue will not stop us from continuing our political and diplomatic struggle. He added that the Israeli measures would exacerbate the Palestinian financial crisis and budget deficit.

Mr. Netanyahu took office late last month as the head of a coalition with far-right and Jewish Orthodox parties seen as the most rightist in the history of Israel.


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