Bethlehem’s PA governor, Abdel Fattah Hamayel, on Sunday issued an order banning
Palestinian institutions in his district from having any direct contact with
The order applies to all municipal and village councils in the
Bethlehem area, as well as Palestinian NGOs and trade institutions.
governor justified the ban by arguing that Israeli authorities have been
avoiding dealing with Palestinians through the Palestinian District Coordinating
“In wake of repeated Israeli calls to deal directly with
Palestinian municipalities and institutions and hold meetings and conferences
with the Israeli side, it is forbidden to have direct contact or coordination
with Israel,” Hamayel stated in his order.
He said that Palestinians who
wish to have any form of contact with Israel should do so only through official
Palestinian Authority channels, including the DCO.
This is not the first
time that the PA prevents Palestinians from holding meetings or dealing directly
In recent years, Palestinians who participated in
conferences and other activities with Israelis have been denounced by
PA-affiliated organizations and Fatah for “promoting normalization” with Israel.