Israeli authorities revoked Israeli-issued exit permits for 12 senior officials in the Gaza Strip’s Civil Affairs Administration on Wednesday, according to Israeli media, just one week following the revocation of the majority of permits issued for Palestinian civil affairs employees in the besieged enclave.
Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, reported that some of the senior officials who had their permits revoked had been working in the Ministry of Civil Affairs for at least 10 years.
The cancellation of permits came just one week after Israeli authorities revoked the majority of permits for civil affairs employees in the Gaza Strip.
— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) October 19, 2016
Public Information Officer for the Palestinian Ministry of Civil Affairs in the Gaza Strip, Muhammad al-Maqadma, told Ma’an last week that while Israeli authorities did not provide reasons for the cancellation of permits, he saw the move as representative of a new Israeli policy taking shape against the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank.
Al-Maqadma was referring to the so-called carrot and stick approach developed by Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, in which Israeli authorities would focus on building relationships with Palestinian citizens while bypassing Palestinian political institutions.
Al-Maqadma said the new policy was first sparked after Israeli authorities began obstructing the passage of Palestinian traders and those seeking medical treatment outside of the small Palestinian territory – groups who were typically allowed to exit the Gaza Strip.
Shin Bet rescinded "permanent exit permits" for 12 of 14 senior Palestinian officials in Gaza's Civil Affairs Admin. https://t.co/fr7itzQ9Tp
— Marian Houk (@Marianhouk) October 17, 2016
Israeli authorities as of last week had cancelled 97 percent of permits for employees who had previously been responsible for escorting Palestinian worshipers and travelers from Gaza to the Allenby Bridge between the West Bank and Jordan, al-Maqadma added.