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Over 90 countries at UN call on Israel to lift sanctions against PA

Illustrative - A view of the U.N. General Assembly hall (Photo: Shutterstock)

More than 90 countries issued a signed statement this week calling on Israel to reverse sanctions against the Palestinian Authority, after it pushed for Israel to be investigated by the International Court of Justice. 

“We express our deep concern regarding the Israeli government’s decision to impose punitive measures against the Palestinian people, leadership and civil society following the request by the [United Nations] General Assembly of an advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice,” the statement said.

In December, the U.N. General Assembly approved a resolution to have the ICJ issue an opinion on the Israeli “occupation,” a move requested by the Palestinians, even though they do not have member status at the U.N. 

Some of the nations which voted against the December resolution signed the statement, including countries historically friendly to and supportive of Israel, such as the Czech Republic and Germany. 

After the resolution passed, Israel took steps against the P.A., including deducting from the tax fees it collects for the P.A. an amount equal to what the P.A. pays in stipends and wages to convicted terrorists and their families. 

From that deduction, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich directed a payment of 139 million shekels (USD $41.1 million) directly to Israeli victims of terror and their families. 

Another step Israel took was to limit Palestinian development in Area C within Judea and Samaria, an area under the control of the Israeli military and civilian authorities. Israel also denied entry permission to P.A. VIPs. 

In a three-year period, from 2018 to 2020, the P.A. issued 1.85 billion shekels (USD $548 million) in payments for terrorist acts that targeted Israelis or Jews. The U.N. has never passed a resolution condemning the P.A. for paying stipends to terrorists and their families, despite calls from Israel to do so.

On Tuesday morning, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen called the signed statement against Israeli “punitive measures” meaningless.

“Meaningless statements and signatures will not stop us from making the right decisions that will protect our citizens and secure our future,” Cohen said. “The interest of all the countries of the world should be to stop the incitement of the Palestinian Authority, which encourages terrorism and pays terrorists who kill Jews. The State of Israel is committed first and foremost to Israel’s security.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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