Israel May Use ‘Financial Retaliation’ against PA
Israel may freeze tax revenues for the Palestinian Authority in retaliation for its pushing the United Nations Human Rights Committee to investigate Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, according to Voice of Israel government radio.
The Netanyahu government also is considering freezing cooperation with the PA for joint business initiatives as a way to get across the message that the PA cannot have its cake and eat it at the same time by working against Israel while enjoying the taxes Israel collects for it at crossings into the Palestinian Authority.
The United Nations Security Council, which two years ago condemned Israel for alleged war crimes during the counterterrorist Operation Cast Lead campaign in Gaza, decided last week to send officials to investigate the effects of Jewish communities on human rights of Arabs in Judea and Samaria.
Israel said it will not cooperate with the delegation.
While Israel is considering restricting funds to the Palestinian Authority, the United States is freeing money that had been frozen for the Ramallah-based regime.
U.S. Congresswoman Kay Granger, chairwoman of a House Appropriations Committee panel, said she was releasing a hold on all of the $147 million in Congressionally-appropriated money for the PA.
House Foreign Affairs Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen only partially lifted her block for more than half of the funds to be sent.
Granger explained she decided to release her hold for humanitarian reasons and to help increase stability in the area controlled by the PA.
Ros-Lehtinen said she would not object to the disbursement so long as the funds were not used for assistance and recovery in Hamas-controlled Gaza, and road construction projects in the PA-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria -- except those directly related to security and projects with permits from Israel.