Israel announces sanctions against Palestinian Authority

Jerusalem : Israeli security cabinet has announced a series of punitive measures against the Palestinian Authority on Thursday.

The move comes in response to the Palestinian Authority’s request to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for an advisory opinion on Israel’s occupation of territories in the West Bank, Xinhua news agency reported.

As part of the sanctions, revenues amounting to about $40 million from taxes Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority will be diverted to families of Israeli victims who were attacked by Palestinian assailants, according to the statement released by the Israeli Prime Minister’s office.

Additionally, Israel will also deduct from the tax revenues the amount the Palestinian Authority grants militants and withdraw benefits for senior Palestinian officials and freeze any construction projects for Palestinians in the West Bank regions that are under both Israeli and Palestinian Authority’s administration.

The Palestinian Authority has the rights to collect taxes from Palestinians in the Palestinian territories but the majority of the taxes are collected by Israel which transfers the money to the Palestinian Authority on a monthly basis.

The decision to slap sanctions was made by the Israeli cabinet after its first meeting on Thursday, a week after the new Israeli government was sworn-in.

Israel captured the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East war. Since then, Israel has settled almost half a million Jewish residents in the area.

Palestinians see the land as part of their future state and has thus turned to the ICJ for its opinion on legality of Israel’s actions in the West Bank. — IANS


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