- Israel’s Response to UN Vote: Collective Punishment!
Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz opened an Israeli cabinet meeting Sunday with the announcement that Israel will not deliver $120 million in tax payments, which it has collected for the Palestinian Authority, to the PA, but will use them to settle an alleged Palestinian debt.
Steinitz was explicit that the action was taken in response to the PA’s successful appeal to the United Nations General Assembly to upgrade its status to an observer state. “We have said from the beginning that the raising of the status of Palestine at the UN would produce a reaction from Israel,” he said.
This was the second punishment meted out by the Netanyahu government to the Palestinians following the vote. The first was the announcement on Nov. 30 of plans to construct an additional 3,000 housing units, between the West Bank and East Jerusalem—in a transparent attempt to prevent the ultimate creation of a contiguous Palestinian state.