Tuesday, June 18, 2024

After Ireland, Norway and Spain’s Decision, Israel Halts Transfer of Funds to Palestinian Authority – Republic World

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Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu | Image:r bharat

Israel’s finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich, announced on Wednesday that Israel would withhold funds from the Palestinian Authority in response to recent decisions by three European countries to recognize the Palestinian state. Smotrich, a leader known for opposing Palestinian sovereignty, cited the actions of Spain, Norway, and Ireland as justification for the move.

In a statement, Smotrich informed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that tax revenues would no longer be sent to the authority, which governs parts of the West Bank in cooperation with Israel. The decision threatens to exacerbate the Palestinian government’s financial woes.

Payback for Spain, Ireland and Norway’s decision 

Eytan Fuld, a spokesperson for Smotrich, emphasized that the decision was partly a reaction to the European countries’ recognition of Palestinian statehood. Fuld accused the Palestinian leadership of pursuing unilateral recognition and acting against Israel’s interests.

“They are acting against Israel legally, diplomatically, and for unilateral recognition,” Fuld said. When they act against the state of Israel, there must be a response,” he added. 

Israel has also recalled its ambassadors from the 3 nations 

In addition to withholding funds, Israel recalled its ambassadors from Spain, Ireland, and Norway for consultations. Foreign Minister Israel Katz condemned the European countries’ actions, describing them as rewarding “Hamas terrorists.”

The Israeli foreign minister also disclosed that he “had summoned the countries’ envoys to Israel for a severe scolding following their governments’ decision to award a gold medal to Hamas terrorists”. 

The Palestinian Authority has yet to respond to Israel’s decision. 

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