Palestinian premier's motorcade stopped at Israeli checkpoint

Photo: Palestinian premier's motorcade stopped at Israeli checkpoint / Arab-Israel Relations

Israeli security forces on Tuesday stopped the motorcade of Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah at a checkpoint outside the West Bank city of Ramallah, holding him for an hour before allowing him to continue, according to Palestinian spokesman Ehab Bseiso, dpa reported.

He told reporters in Ramallah the Israelis demanded to check the papers of the prime minister and his entourage, but Hamdallah refused to cooperate.

Hamdallah was traveling between his hometown of Nablus and his office in Ramallah when the incident happened.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the motorcade was pulled over by an officer because it was going at well beyond the speed limit - and that the drivers would be summoned for questioning.

But Bseiso accused the Israelis of setting up the checkpoint to "harass" the prime minister.

"It was put there intentionally to target the prime minister because there is normally no checkpoint in that area," he said.

"If this happens to the prime minister, then one can imagine what happens every day to Palestinians on these roads," he said.

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