PA Claims Congress is Pushing for Sanctions Against It
The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Sunday pointed an accusing finger at members of the U.S. Congress, saying some of them were calling for action to be taken against the PA in response to the applications to join 15 international treaties.
The PA’s envoy to Washington, Maen Areikat, told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency that some pro-Israeli U.S. representatives have voiced their demands to impose sanctions against the PA, including ceasing financial aid.
Areikat said the that the Obama administration realizes the importance of the PA’s role in the peace process and the importance of financial aid in the current stage.
“We did not hear any indication by the U.S. administration about taking action against the PA,” Areikat said, explaining that stopping financial would will have negative repercussions for U.S. interests.
He further said they a cut in aid would not affect plans to seek international recognition.
Areikat highlighted that the PA should remain on guard and make its positions clear to Congress members.
The peace process hit a snag last week when the PA, in a direct breach of the conditions of the talks, unilaterally applied to join 15 international conventions. In response, Israel announced it would freeze the transfer of taxes to the PA, suspend participation with the PA to develop a gas field in the sea off of Hamas-controlled Gaza, and put a cap on PA deposits in Israeli banks.
On Friday, the United States hit out at both the PA and Israel for their recent moves.
"Unilateral moves by both sides will not accelerate the peace process, but will rather do the opposite,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney.
Meanwhile, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that Israel freezing the transfer of taxes it collects for the PA is “unfortunate”.