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Is the PA denying Gazans passports?

Palestinians in Gaza are wary of a potential closure of the Bar Association, acting in its capacity as Foreign Ministry, in light of its recent controversy with the State Audit & Administrative Control Bureau.
A Palestinian woman holds her passport as she waits to cross the Rafah border crossing in Gaza Strip November 27, 2005. Palestinians asserted control for the first time over an international frontier on Saturday as hundreds of Gazans moved across a newly opened terminal at Rafah into neighbouring Egypt. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem - RTR1BP61
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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Palestinian police in Gaza, accompanied by the State Audit and Administrative Control Bureau (SAACB), raided the headquarters of the Palestinian Bar Association on March 16 as a result of disagreements between the parties about the bar’s members’ financial and administrative records. The raid caused the association to suspend its work that day in all courts and institutions and to call in lawyers to its headquarters to defend itself against the police. The following day, the bar staged a sit-in in front of its headquarters.

On March 20, media outlets quoted sources at the Interior Ministry in Ramallah as saying that as a result of the police raid, requests for passports using powers of attorney authenticated by the bar in Gaza would be denied. The bar has been handling many passport issues on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, with which Hamas has been in conflict for years.

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