RAMALLAH, November 4 (JMCC) - Israel
has blocked Palestinian officials from driving their personal cars to Jordan, restricting the privilege to the president and prime minister, reported Israel radio on Thursday morning.
The permission, reserved for those carrying VIP cards, is one in a string of privileges afforded Palestinian officials by Israel. Average Palestinians are not allowed to drive across the Allenby bridge crossing, and often complain of the long wait at the border.
Palestinian officials, aware of the public ambivalence over such special treatment, struck a defiant tone in response.
This can be added to a series of restrictions that are imposed on Palestinians in general, said government spokesperson Ghassan Khatib
to Voice of Palestine radio. Palestinians, whether officials or not, have the right to free movement.
He went on to accuse the Israeli government of pressuring Palestinians in order to satisfy the right wing in Israel.
The move appears to continue a tiff between the two governments that began earlier this week.
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad
was warned against visiting a school in Anata
, which remains under Israeli control, despite Palestinian aspirations that it become their capital. He bowed out of the inauguration ceremony Tuesday and Israeli bulldozers pointedly removed the cornerstone that was lain in his absence.