‘Palestine’ to Issue Passports Soon, PA Says

YERUSHALAYIM -
U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden (L) meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Debbie Hill/Pool
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L) meets with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, March 9. (Reuters/Debbie Hill/Pool)

The Palestinian Authority plans to issue new passports to its subjects that will bear the name “State of Palestine.” Currently, PA passports use the term “Palestinian Authority,” the official name of the entity controlled by Mahmoud Abbas, as approved by the U.N. Security Council and as prescribed in the Camp David Accords, the legal basis for the establishment of the PA.

The PA announced the move Wednesday, saying that the new passports will be issued “soon,” although it did not specify when. Israel has not been consulted on the matter yet, and a top PA official said that the passports would be issued with or without Israel’s consent.

That could pose a problem for the PA, as Palestinians in Yehudah and Shomron who wish to travel abroad are required to go through Israeli immigration facilities – either at Ben Gurion Airport or at one of the Jordan River crossings, and without Israeli recognition of the passport, travelers will not be allowed through.

Israel has not commented on the matter yet, but the proposal is likely to be rejected, as it violates the Camp David Accords and would be considered an attempt by the PA to create a de-facto state without negotiating, a strategy that Israel is opposed to, said analysts on Army Radio.