Israeli authorities yesterday withdrewn a VIP card from the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) Attorney General, Ahmad Barak.
According to Hebrew-language news outlets, the decision to withdraw Barak’s VIP card comes after a Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem, carrying the Israeli blue identity card, was detained for selling land to Israeli settlers.
Last month, a Jewish organisation purchased a three-story building in Jerusalem’s Old City, near Herod’s Gate. The house, originally owned by the distinguished Joudeh family, was sold in April 2018 to a company registered in the Caribbean, apparently a straw company.
News of the sale sparked mutual accusations between Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud ‘Abbas and his rival Muhammad Dahlan, who was expelled from Fatah in 2011.
In May 2016, the PA attorney general, Ahmad Barak, ordered to seize the funds of a Ramallah company on the grounds that it received money from UAE-backed Dahlan and brought “dubious funds” into the Palestinian territories. Barak claimed that the company had not engaged in any real business in Palestine since its establishment; rather, it was formed in order to secretly buy up property in Jerusalem’s Old City and transfer it to unknown elements.
VIP cards allows senior officials in the PA, including Palestinian security services, to travel across Israel with fewer restrictions.