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PA rejects Palestinian travel through Israeli airport

August 24, 2022 at 11:18 am

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and the delegation arrive at the Istanbul Airport to participate in the agreement ceremony on unblocking Ukrainian grain exports, in Istanbul, Turkiye on July 22, 2022 [ Arife Karakum – Anadolu Agency ]

A Palestinian Authority official said on Tuesday evening that it rejects Palestinian travellers using Israel’s Ramon Airport near Eilat, Anadolu has reported. Musa Rahal accused Israel of not committing to its agreements with the PA.

The spokesman for the PA Ministry of Transportation said that the official position is clear that Palestinian citizens should not use the Israeli airport.

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“There are priorities and rights under international agreements,” explained Rahal, “including handing over the Jerusalem International Airport in Qalandia, the reconstruction of Gaza’s International Airport and allowing the construction of a new airport in the West Bank, all of which are to be managed by the Palestinians.” Gaza’s only airport was destroyed by Israel in late 2001 and early 2002.

Referring to Israeli “harassment” of Palestinian travellers from the occupied West Bank heading to and from Jordan, the ministry spokesman called for procedures to be eased.

“Ramon Airport represents an Israeli economic interest, it harms Palestinian sovereignty and it has a political dimension related to normalisation and the eradication of Palestinian identity,” insisted Rahal. “It is also against Jordan’s interests.” The Israelis, he added, have “sufficient knowledge” of messages from the PA.

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Moreover, the official pointed out that the Palestinian authorities have no way of knowing who has flown out of Ramon Airport. “It could thus be used by people fleeing from justice.”

The Israeli Airports Authority announced that the airport would start allowing Palestinian travellers from the West Bank to use the airport as from 22 August. The first group of Palestinians joined other passengers on a flight to Cyprus on Monday.