Netanyahu and Smotrich
Netanyahu and SmotrichYonatan Sindel/Flash90

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich addressed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday morning and demanded that a number of steps be taken immediately against the Palestinian Authority in response to the PA's diplomatic moves against Israel in the international arena.

In his letter, Smotrich wrote that "at the last cabinet meeting, many ministers, including myself, raised an unequivocal demand for harsh punitive measures to be taken against the Palestinian Authority for its unilateral actions against Israel, including its pursuit of unilateral recognition as a state by the UN and reaching bilateral agreements with several countries, as well as the legal battle that is being administered against Israel in the ICC in the Hague, in order to bring the war to a halt."

"Several ideas were raised during the discussion and it seems that there was across-the-board agreement regarding the need to take immediate action and not settle for the declaratory decision passed by the government."

"At the conclusion of the discussion, you gave a team of ministers coordinated by the National Security Council to draw up a list of recommended measures within 24 hours. As you know, since the government meeting, the decision of the antisemitic prosecutor at the Hague Tribunal to issue arrest warrants against you and the Minister of Defense, as part of a case in which the Palestinian Authority is the plaintiff. has been published. I’m sure you remember that two weeks ago I already contacted you and demanded that you prepare drastic response measures."

Smotrich noted: "Unfortunately, the matter has not been dealt with and there are those who think you are probably trying to procrastinate. In the discussion yesterday at the National Security Council, officials and advisers as usual presented a plethora of reasons why, "this is not the right timing" ... I do not intend to allow these officials to delay this matter! It is extremely urgent that Israel issues an immediate response that will demand a significant price from the Palestinian Authority for its actions, and deter it and other countries to stop this movement."

The Minister of Finance detailed his demands for measures to be taken against the Palestinian Authority:

1. Immediately convene the Planning Council in Judea and Samaria for the approval of ten thousand housing units ready for professional promotion, including in area E1.

2. A decision to be approved as early as tomorrow at the Cabinet meeting on the establishment of a new town every time another country unilaterally recognizes the Palestinian state. Three countries intend to announce their unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state today. I have instructed the Settlement Directorate to prepare a viable plan for three strategic towns, and I demand that such a decision be approved as soon as tomorrow.

3. Another decision that must be brought to the cabinet tomorrow is the cancellation of the "Norwegian Outline," that was approved by the cabinet a few months ago. Norway was the first to unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state today and it cannot be a partner in any matters related to Judea and Samaria. I intend to stop transferring funds to them and demand the return of all the transferred funds.

4. Advancing the proposal to strengthen communities in Judea and Samaria, a decision that was supposed to be taken immediately after Sukkot and was postponed due to the Gaza war. These communities protect Israel and as part of our lessons from October 7, are a vital Zionist possession to ensure that Kfar Saba does not become Kfar Gaza, God forbid. As Minister of Finance, I will find the necessary budgets for this.

5. Permanently canceling all VIP permits of senior PA officials at all border crossings and imposing additional financial sanctions on PA senior officials and their families.

6. In addition to this, I would like to inform you that I do not intend to transfer the liquidation funds to the PA from now until further notice, and as I informed you in my letter two weeks ago, I do not intend to extend the indemnification funds to the correspondent banks at the end of next month.