Palestinian Authority starts printing passports independent of Israel

The PA wants to cut ties with Israel in protest of Netanyahu’s intention to apply sovereignty over areas in Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

The Palestinian Interior Ministry says it has started printing its own passports and working with international entities to enable the registration of its people without first registering them in Israel, as is the case currently.

“We are seeking to build a new civil registration framework and system regardless of occupation,” the Palestinian Authority (PA) said in a statement released on Friday.

Palestinian Interior Ministry spokesman Rassam Namer told Agence-France Presse, “We are now listing residents in our records and passing the information on to Ramallah and not to the occupation government as it was until May.”

According to Hebrew weekly Makor Rishon, since the Oslo Accords the PA independently registers birth and mortality numbers. It also issuing identification cards to all its residents when they reach the age of 16.

The passports issued by the Authority bear the name “Palestinian Authority” and not “State of Palestine.” The registration information is transmitted to Israel for validation and to permit PA residents  to travel abroad.

“The move is carried out in accordance with a clear directive from Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, who told us not to work with the Israeli side anymore,” Namer said.

On June 4, Shtayyeh told a group of foreign donors to immediately “recognize the State of Palestine on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

PA President Mahmoud Abbas announced his intention to cut ties with Israel. In an emergency meeting on May 19 in Ramallah, Abbas declared all agreements with Israel and the U.S. are null and void.

The Palestinian moves come in reaction to the Netanyahu government’s intention to annex parts of Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley, areas he wants as part of a future Palestinian state.

The PA may find it difficult to disconnect with Israel given its economic dependence on the Jewish state.

As just one example, in September, the PA boycotted Israeli agricultural products. The boycott ended in February the moment Israel declared a counter-boycott on Palestinian goods.

“Since the mid-1990s, Israel has been an almost exclusive destination for Palestinian exports, taking on average more than 90 per cent of total Palestinian exports of goods, including unregistered exports,” according to a 2018 article on the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change website.