Israel issued so-called “VIP” cards to PLO leaders and prominent businesspeople allowing them to go through checkpoints easily without inspection. Ordinary Palestinians have long been resentful that the “VIPs” could drive through checkpoints and go to Israel easily while everyone else has to wait in lines.
The VIP system was created during the Oslo process at the request of Palestinian leaders.
Now, Hamas – which never benefitted from this VIP system – is asking, in light of the PLO announcement of ending all cooperation with Israel, whether the PLO will dismantle the system. After all, the cards must be presented to Israeli security, so they are an example of security cooperation with Israel.
Hamas is trying to embarrass its PLO rivals, of course. But that doesn’t mean this isn’t a good question. If the PLO maintains the VIP system, it means that they re being very selective in which cooperation they are willing to stop with Israel – and the Palestinian leaders aren’t likely to give up one of their biggest perks.