Palestinian Leader Loses VIP Status With Israel

Published January 15, 2012 6:00PM (EST)

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Palestinian officials say Israel has stripped President Mahmoud Abbas of VIP status and given him a watered-down travel permit that is valid for just two months.

The officials say Abbas spoke about the matter at an internal meeting of his Fatah Party last week. He said the new permit is a reflection of Israel's control over the Palestinians, and suggested that Israel was punishing him for applying for Palestinian membership in the United Nations.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not allowed to brief the media,

Maj. Guy Inbar, a spokesman for the Israeli agency that issues travel documents to Palestinians, said Sunday there has been no change in policy. He says the permit is the result of a technical glitch that should be resolved soon.

By Salon Staff

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