Abbas backtracks on State of Palestine plans
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has backtracked on plans to stamp the words ‘State of Palestine’ on passports and ID cards to avoid confrontation with Israel, according to Palestinian officials, AP reported on Monday.
Last week, Abbas decreed that in official documents ‘State of Palestine’ must replace ‘Palestinian Authority,’ the name of his self-rule government.
The decision followed Abbas’ successful U.N. bid in late November to upgrade the Palestinians’ status, which was previously of a 'non-member observer entity', to that of an observer state.
According to AP, Hassan Alawi, a deputy interior minister in the Palestinian Authority, said on Monday that while documents and stationery with the new emblem will be ready within two months, any official documents Palestinians need in their dealings with Israel will only be changed following further decision by Abbas. This includes passports and ID cards.
Alawi reportedly told AP on Monday that Israeli officials informed his office that “they will not deal with any new form of passport of ID.”
Saeb Erekat, a senior Abbas aide, said the new emblem won’t be used in documents needed to move through Israeli crossings but will be used in correspondence with countries that have recognized a state of Palestine.