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Israel approves punitive measures against PA over ‘disgraceful’ UN vote

The move is a response to the recent U.N. resolution calling on the International Court of Justice to “render urgently an advisory opinion” on the status of Judea and Samaria.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convenes the first meeting of his new government's Security Cabinet in Tel Aviv, Jan. 5, 2023. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convenes the first meeting of his new government's Security Cabinet in Tel Aviv, Jan. 5, 2023. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO.

Israel’s Security Cabinet on Thursday approved several punitive measures against the Palestinian Authority in response to what it described as Ramallah’s ongoing “political and legal war” against the Jewish state.

The move came a week after the U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution calling on the International Court of Justice to “render urgently an advisory opinion” on Israel’s “prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of Palestinian territory.”

The Security Cabinet decided to withhold taxes and tariffs collected on behalf of and transferred to the P.A., in an amount equal to that which Ramallah paid to terrorists and their families in 2022 as part of its “pay-for-slay” policy. An additional sum of nearly $40 million was deducted from the same P.A. pool of funds, to be disbursed to Israeli victims of Palestinian terrorism.

The Knesset had previously passed legislation mandating such deductions, however, the Bennett-Lapid government repeatedly found loopholes to delay its implementation.

The Security Cabinet also placed a moratorium on Palestinian construction in Area C of Judea and Samaria, with a view to curbing illegal building, and denying VIP benefits to P.A. officials leading the “lawfare” campaign against Israel.

“The colonial occupier’s vindictive measures against the Palestinian people are a direct assault on the UNGA’s request for an advisory opinion from the ICJ on the legal standing of Israel’s illegal domination over the Palestinian people and the responsibilities of states,” the P.A. Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

“States must ensure that Israel ceases its sanctions against the Palestinian people and submit to the rules-based international order or be prepared to receive the treatment owed to pariah states,” it added.

For his part, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the “distorted” and “disgraceful” ICJ resolution would not obligate or restrain his government, adding: “The Jewish people is not occupying its land and is not occupying its eternal capital Jerusalem. No U.N. resolution can distort this historical truth.”

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