Erez Crossing 311 (R).
(photo credit: Mohammed Salem/Reuters)
The PA has removed a Palestinian liaison from his job after he recently met with
Israeli counterparts to discuss easing restrictions imposed on the Gaza Strip
without permission, officials revealed Wednesday.
officials said that Khalil Faraj, who was responsible for civilian coordination
with Israel in the Gaza Strip, was reassigned to an administrative job in the
PA’s Civilian Affairs Ministry.
Faraj’s main job was to coordinate with
Israeli officials regarding the issuing of travel permits for Palestinians in
the Gaza Strip and the entry of goods into the area.
newspaper quoted PA officials as confirming that the liaison
had been reassigned to another job.
The officials said that the PA has
decided to appoint Maher Abu al-Ouf as his replacement.
Faraj was among a
group of Palestinians who recently met at the Erez border crossing with IDF
officers and representatives of the Israeli Civil Administration. The meeting
focused on the Palestinians’ demand that Israel allow them to bring construction
material into the Gaza Strip in light of Qatar’s decision to allocate some $300
million for various economic projects.
Faraj was removed from his job
because he had not sought permission from his superiors in Ramallah to meet with
the Israelis and discuss ways of easing restrictions imposed on the Gaza Strip,
the PA officials told the newspaper.
Although Hamas seized control of the
Gaza Strip in 2007, it allowed a number of officials from the PA Civilian
Affairs Ministry to keep their jobs so that they could continue coordinating
with Israel about the entry of goods into the area. These officials were also
responsible for seeking permits for Palestinian patients to receive medical aid
in Israel and the West Bank.
A Hamas legislator said that the decision to
remove the liaison officer from his post was “proof that the Palestinian
Authority leadership was seeking to block efforts to rebuild the Gaza Strip.”
The legislator claimed that the PA leadership in the West Bank had expressed
reservations about Qatar’s plan to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the