Daily Israel Report

Proposal: Criminalize Contact with the PA

After Hamas-Fatah unity pact, one MK proposes bill to make Israel's contact with the PLO - like with Hamas - a criminal offense.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 4/25/2014, 11:57 AM

Fatah, Hamas officials meet in Gaza ahead of agreement
Fatah, Hamas officials meet in Gaza ahead of agreement
Reuters

On Wednesday, Hamas and Fatah - the ruling parties in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority (PA), respectively - signed a unity pact, to great uproar. 

Israel responded by suspending peace talks and enacting financial sanctions, as well as cutting diplomatic relations. That followed a partial stopping of diplomatic relations and economic sanctions against the PA, following it's breach of conditions by applying to international conventions at the start of the month.

But on Friday, one MK proposed that Israel take its stand against the unity pact a step further: by reverting to a pre-Oslo Accords law which would criminalize contact between Israel and the PA. 

MK Nissan Slomiansky (Jewish Home) submitted the bill on Friday, according to Ma'ariv. If passed, it would not only stop all diplomatic relations between the two on an official level - and enact fines and prison time for lawbreakers - but also equate the PA with Hamas, a well-known terror organization. 

"Like [the fact that] Hamas is a terror organization according to everyone, in any case [now that the unity pact is signed] the Palestinian Authority has become a terrorist organization - and therefore the law [against contact with Hamas] should also apply," Slomiansky stated late Thursday.  

"In practice, this means that every time a Labor party MK would go 'comfort' (PA Chairman Mahmoud) Abbas after the murder of an Israeli policeman, they would go straight to prison," he noted, referring to last week's controversial visit to Ramallah by leftist MKs.

A conditional clause in the bill does allow Israel to resume contact with the PA under certain circumstances, according to the daily. The bill is expected to garner support from Likud, Yisrael-Beytenu, and the Jewish Home - a major Knesset bloc - and, according to Slomiansky, reveal the "true face" of Abbas. 

"He tried to present himself as a man of peace [on the one hand], and on the other he incites and supports terrorism," the MK explained. "Now it has been proven that he also supports Hamas in everything."