Minister Warns PA Will 'Pay A Heavy Price' for UN Move
Tourism Minister Uzi Landau warned that Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's unilateral request to join 15 international institutions, in breach of peace talk conditions, will cost the PA dearly.
"If they are now threatening (to go to United Nations institutions), they must know something simple: they will pay a heavy price," warned Landau on Wednesday.
"One of the possible measures will be Israel applying sovereignty over areas which will clearly be part of the State of Israel in any future solution," added Landau, referencing the areas of Judea and Samaria with a large Jewish population that have been proposed in talks as becoming part of Israel.
Landau warned that another response open to Israel was to economically penalize the PA for its move, by acting "to block financial aid to them," according to AFP.
In mid-March, the PA announced it had reached a staggering $4.8 billion in debt, and that its 2014 budgetary deficit was $1.5 billion. As of February, the PA owed the Israel Electric Company 1.2 billion shekels ($375 million).
"Cancel the Oslo Accords"
Deputy Knesset Chairman Moshe Feiglin (Likud) on Wednesday similarly called on Israel to declare sovereignty, although he specified sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria, and not just "settlement blocs.".
"Abbas runs to the UN and is essentially declaring the cancellation of the Oslo Accords," noted Feiglin, urging Israel to seize the opportunity "to announce the anullment of those accursed accords and declare absolute Israeli sovereignty on all territories."
Feiglin suggested offering all Arab residents citizenship, "similar to that which eastern Jerusalem Arabs received."
Abbas's breach of peace talk conditions came as the stalling peace talks have reached a standstill, largely due to his insistent refusal to recognize Israel as the Jewish state.
In response to the unilateral move Tuesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry cancelled a planned meeting with Abbas for Wednesday, even while saying "it is completely premature tonight to draw...any final judgement about today's events and where things are."
Landau on Tuesday slammed a US proposal to free Jonathan Pollard, now in his 29th year in a US jail for charges of spying for Israel, in exchange for the release of over 400 Israeli-held Arab terrorists, including arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti. Additionally, the proposal called for a partial construction freeze in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.
"We keep falling down a slippery slope," remarked Landau. "My hair stands on end when I hear we are planning to release Pollard in such a deal. Why should we swallow a cyanide pill that happens to be sugar-coated?"