Israel imposes sanctions on the Palestinian Authority because of the decision of the International Tribunal
The new Israeli government has approved tough new sanctions on the Palestinian Authority in response to their request from the United Nations’ highest judicial body to express its opinion on the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.
The Israeli sanctions against the Palestinian government came after the UN General Assembly voted in favor of Palestine’s request for an expert opinion from the court last week.
A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Israeli sanctions will, among other measures, freeze Palestinian construction projects in Area C of the occupied West Bank.
Area C was placed under sole Israeli control as part of the Oslo peace accords in the 1990s and represents more than 60% of the total area of the occupied West Bank.
Human rights organizations reported that Israel grants Palestinians building permits in Area C only in exceptional cases.
Israel will also confiscate 139 million shekels (about $39 million) in taxes that Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority and distribute the money to families of terror victims instead.
In addition, Israel plans to take further action against organizations that promote what it deems to be hostile or terrorist activities “under the guise of humanitarian action.”
Last week, following an appeal by Palestine, the United Nations General Assembly asked the Hague-based international court to give an opinion on the legal consequences of Israel’s 55-year occupation of Palestinian lands.
Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem – areas the Palestinians want for their state – in the 1967 war in the Middle East. It withdrew from Gaza in 2005, but it controls, along with neighboring Egypt, the Strip’s borders. The Palestinian Authority enjoys limited autonomy in the West Bank under the interim peace agreements of the 1990s.
The World Court is the highest court in the United Nations that deals with disputes between countries. Its provisions are binding, although it has no power to implement it.
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said, “These decisions are condemned and rejected with regard to money and other measures that they are planning.”