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Monday, February 6, 2023

The newly elected Israeli administration has already begun to adopt measures that are intended to punish Palestinian leadership

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday that the newly-elected Israeli Security Cabinet has authorised a number of punitive procedures to be taken against the leadership of the Palestinian people as part of its first acts since taking power.

This action is a form of vengeance, as stated in a statement released by Netanyahu’s office, for Palestinians who have been pressuring the highest judicial body in the United Nations to provide its verdict on the Israeli occupation. Despite the newly implemented Israeli sanctions, the Palestinians have promised to keep up their diplomatic efforts.

At a time when violence is on the rise in the occupied territories, this new incident lends credence to Israel’s newly elected ultranationalist government’s pledge to take a tough stance against the Palestinian people.

A decision to fight political and legal war against the State of Israel was characterised as a request made to the United Nations by the Palestinian Authority by Israel’s Security Cabinet.

According to what was said in the statement, the present administration “will not sit idly by in the face of this conflict and will react as required.”

In response, Israel’s Security Cabinet, which is comprised of Netanyahu’s allies from the extreme right and religious conservatism, came to the conclusion that Israel would withhold 39 million United States dollars from the Palestinian Authority and instead transfer those funds to a compensation programme for the families of Israelis who had been killed or injured by Palestinian militants.

In addition, it stated that Israel would further deduct revenue that it typically transfers to the cash-strapped PA an amount equal to the amount that the authority paid out the previous year to families of Palestinian prisoners and those killed in the conflict, including militants implicated in attacks against Israelis. This was stated in the statement.

Israel believes that the so-called Martyrs’ Fund encourages Palestinians to engage in violent activity, but the Palestinian Authority views the payments as important social aid. Israel’s continued withholding of funding poses a danger to the PA’s already precarious financial situation.

Additionally, the Security Cabinet openly targeted Palestinian figures, declaring that it will withhold rewards from VIPs who are driving the political and legal struggle against Israel. In contrast to ordinary Palestinians, senior PA officials are granted Israeli licences that make it possible for them to move freely inside and between Israel and the occupied West Bank.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has said that despite Israel’s attempts to threaten us with our tax resources, we would not be deterred from continuing our political and diplomatic war. In addition, he said that the Israeli policies would make the current financial crisis and deficit in the Palestinian budget much worse.

Other steps, which were revealed on Friday, focused on Israel’s control over the West Bank, which it had gained in the Middle East conflict of 1967. Israel’s authority over the land, which the Palestinians have for years said should be a component of their future state, has been maintained despite decades of fruitless peace negotiations.

The incoming far-right administration in Israel has committed to make the growth of settlements a top priority and to legitimise outposts that were erected without authorization. Already, Israel has built dozens of Jewish settlements, which are now the homes of around half a million Israelis and over 2.5 million Palestinians living side by side.

The Security Cabinet, which is a small group of high-level ministers who answer directly to the prime minister, has also said that it will freeze Palestinian construction in Area C, which comprises sixty percent of the West Bank and is an area over which Israel already exercises complete control in accordance with interim peace accords.

According to the UN, over 300,000 Palestinians live in the rural regions and settlements that make up Area C. Area C also contains the settlements.

The last stage, which was described by the government on Friday, entails taking action against West Bank groups “that support terrorist activities or any unfriendly activity.”

According to what was said, this includes organisations that are pretending to do humanitarian work but are really engaging in political and legal activity against Israel.

It is not obvious at this time which specific organisations may be targeted. Israel labelled six key Palestinian rights monitoring organisations as terrorist groups more than a year ago, and in the summer of 2017, it searched and closed the headquarters of those organisations. The Palestinian factions have denied the charges, and the move itself has garnered considerable outrage from throughout the world.

Chris Matthews
I am a Political News Journalist of The National Era
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