Israel practicing economic aggression against Palestinians
The palestinian leadership at times finds itself in a fix over dastardly decisions taken against it by the Jewish state — as was the case when Israel imposed economic sanctions against the Palestinian Authority in retaliation for its signing up to international treaties.
Israel collects taxes on behalf of the Palestinians, and transfers about $100m per month, accounting for two-thirds of the authority’s budget. Israel now says debt payments will be deducted directly from tax transfers. This squarely reflects the unease that Tel Aviv feels as the dispossessed nation and its leadership exhibit resilience and fight to find a place for themselves among the comity of nations.
Since the Palestinians were accorded the de facto statehood status at the United Nations, Israel had been at pains and looking for an excuse to limit the movement’s reach on the world stage, thereby barring the peace talks from making any headway. By threatening to freeze Palestinian assets and bank deposits, Israel is upping the ante. As far as legal interpretation is concerned, the usurper i.e., Israel, cannot encroach upon taxes collected by the Palestinian Authority, nor can it obstruct the latter’s plan to work for the uplift of areas and people under its jurisdiction.
This latest Israeli move has rightly been condemned by Switzerland, which says that the Palestinian Authority has every legal right to be an international player, as the ‘State of Palestine’ has acceded to the Geneva Conventions, which govern the rules of war and military occupations. Israel’s confrontational attitude was widely evident as it froze developmental and humanitarian funds for the Palestinians and withdrew from UN aid agencies as a mark of protest.
The million-dollar question is if this attitude will be of any help in bringing about the Washington-sponsored two-state solution. Israel’s audacity to torpedo international legal instruments, mount blatant attacks on hapless Palestinians and encroach on their territories is nothing but fascism at work. How effectively the White House, which has itself warned that the peace process is time-barred, can tame its ally is anybody’s guess. The time has become for President Barack Obama’s administration to prove itself as a sincere player and rally behind the Palestinians like they have done in the case of the Ukranians who are facing Russian economic sanctions.