Ramallah, 5 Jumadil Awwal 1436/24 February 2015 (MINA) – A member of the West Bank Liberties Committee has claimed that the Palestinian Authority continues to deny passports to Palestinians living in Gaza.
Speaking to Safa Agency on Sunday, Khalil Assaf said that the ban was imposed by the security services and it precludes the issue of passports from the Interior Ministry in Ramallah, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting, Tuesday (24/2).
Sources in the Gaza Strip reported that about 500 people have been denied passports as a result of the security decision. A list of passport applications has been submitted to the Liberties Committee in an attempt to overcome this problem. According to Assaf, blocking passport applications is both illegal and politicised.
He noted that the rescinding of the decision depends on the resolution of outstanding reconciliation issues between the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the context of the split between Fatah and Hamas.
He said that he acted on behalf of a Palestinian in Gaza eight months ago to try to get a passport issued for him.
The application was rejected even though he is a member of the Liberties Committee, which was formed after the Unity Government was sworn in. Assaf pointed out that no side has the right to deprive a Palestinian citizen of a passport except by a court order.
The Ramallah government has monopolised the issue of passports for Gaza Strip residents for the past eight years, since the closure of the main passport centre in Gaza in 2007 as a result of the split between the two main Palestinian factions. (T/P002/P3)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)