OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Israel suspended on Sunday a pass easing the Palestinian foreign minister’s travel in and around the occupied West Bank, among its responses to a Palestinian bid to involve the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in their decades-old conflict.

Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki’s “VIP” travel card was confiscated by Israeli border staff as he crossed from Jordan into the occupied West Bank, his office said.

A spokesperson for Israel’s Defence Ministry, which administers the West Bank, confirmed the move, calling it part of the implementation of a government decision on Friday.

In televised remarks to the Israeli cabinet on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the decision entailed, among other measures, “sanctions against senior Palestinian figures”.

“The Palestinian Authority has promoted an extremist anti-Israeli resolution at the United Nations,” Netanyahu said.

The UN General Assembly, responding to an appeal by the Palestinians, on Dec. 30 asked the ICJ for an opinion on the legal consequences of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories.


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