Palestinian opponents had their diplomatic passports revoked by Abbas
Palestine– Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has canceled the diplomatic passports of many former officials in a fresh move against his political opponents. Nasser al-Qudwa, a former Palestinian Authority Minister of Foreign Affairs who also served as Palestine’s UN ambassador for 20 years; Yasser Abed Rabbo, a former Abbas aide and secretary of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee; Bassam Abu Sharif, a former political adviser to late President Yasser Arafat; and members of the dissolved Palestinian Legislative Council are among them (PLC).
Abbas’ actions are in response to a legislation modification he made on February 3 that changed the criteria for awarding and removing diplomatic passports. By widening the range of eligible recipients, the act provides Abbas the right to award diplomatic passports to anybody he wants. He’s been using it to reward his supporters while punishing his detractors.
The provision stipulated that a diplomatic passport could be revoked if the holder “lost Palestinian nationality,” was convicted of a “felony involving moral turpitude or dishonesty,” lost the capacity under which the diplomatic passport was obtained, or had used the diplomatic passport to commit a crime punishable by law. Those who “support or advocate for an external or internal party against the State of Palestine and its constitutional institutions, or threaten its national interests, constitutional stability, order, and civil peace,” according to one clause of the amendment, will have their diplomatic passports revoked.
Punitive actions against political opponents have tainted the PA’s internal practices. PLO groups such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine have had their cash allocations stopped on several occasions. Officials from government agencies have also been barred for the same reason. “What is occurring is political malice and punishment,” Qudwa told Al-Monitor. “It’s a symptom of the new lows in Palestinian politics, where institutions are being destroyed,” he added. “What transpired was a breach of the law and an assault on human rights, not a political act.” The PA’s hegemony is enshrined in this act, which weakens the rule of law, the state, and its institutions.”
“Punishments take several forms, such as the withdrawal of diplomatic passports, the suspension of salaries, dismissal from one’s post, and other more violent forms,” Qudwa said, adding, “Punishments take several forms, such as the withdrawal of diplomatic passports, the suspension of salaries, dismissal from one’s post, and and other more violent forms. As happened with opposition activist Nizar Banat, it might even entail murder. This approach is in violation of the law and does not respect human dignity, institutions, or Palestinian authorities.”
Before being ousted from Fatah’s Central Committee in March of last year, Qudwa, Arafat’s nephew, was a member of the decision-making circles. He was expelled from Fatah and ousted as president of the Yasser Arafat Foundation. He has now established himself as one of Abbas’ most powerful political foes. Qudwa founded the Palestinian National Democratic Forum and forged a combined electoral ticket with Fatah Central Committee member Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life sentences in an Israeli jail, in the run-up to the postponed general elections last year.
“A clique of authorities is defending their positions by threatening and scaring” its opponents, according to the report. Qudwa explained. “The previous presidential election was 17 years ago, casting doubt on the present administration’s legitimacy.” ” Under Palestinian law, the president has the right to make decrees in times of emergency. However, in this case, “They were issued to help the president and his entourage achieve their objectives.” According to Qudwa, Abbas is passing legislation to justify his judgments and strengthen his authority, stressing that the heinous acts are only a small sampling of the political regime’s many transgressions.
“The [PA] has demolished important institutions like the Palestinian National Council, created a legislative vacuum by dissolving the PLC, and weakened the judicial authority by subordinating it to the executive authority concentrated in the hands of the president and the security apparatus,” he said. Qudwa said that he attempted to renew his diplomatic passport two months ago, but that the personnel informed him that the president had not given his consent. “The renewal was refused before the president even announced the bill,” he added. The choice has already been determined for months.”
Abed Rabbo’s diplomatic passports, which he and his wife, artist Liana Badr, got from Arafat, have been canceled. They did not respond to Al-request Monitor’s for comment. When the Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to renew Abu Sharif’s diplomatic passport two months earlier, he was taken aback. At the ministry, he was told that the renewal procedure required Abbas’ signature. He told Al-Monitor, “It’s humiliating and demeaning.”
The PA, according to Abu Sharif, is “chaotic” and “based on personal moods and whims.”” “, he explained “Those who are deemed political opponents of Abbas are subjected to punitive measures. If loyalty to the national cause is seen as resistance, I am completely on board with the opposition and will stay so notwithstanding the injustice meted out to me.” “People’s money is being robbed, the national cause is fading, and high-level corruption and lack of accountability are spreading like wildfire,” he said. The Foreign Ministry was called by Al-Monitor, but officials declined to comment, claiming that only the Palestinian presidency has the authority to speak on the matter.