Israel says Palestinians to pay "heavy price" for pursuing UN memberships
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas signed a document Tuesday in which Palestine has filed for recognition in 15 U.N. agencies (Abbas Momani/AFP)
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Agence France Presse reported Wednesday that Israel may annex more territory in the occupied West Bank in response to Palestinian leadership's decision this week to renew its pursuit of joining U.N. agencies and international treaties.
"If they are now threatening (to go to U.N. institutions), they must know something simple: they will pay a heavy price. One of the possible measures will be Israel applying sovereignty over areas which will clearly be part of the State of Israel in any future solution" said Israeli Tourism Minster Uzi Landau over public radio.
The hardliner politician who is a member of the Yisrael Beitenu faction also added that "Israel may hurt the Palestinians economically [by] blocking financial aid to them."
Landau's commentary comes in response to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas' announcement Tuesday that Palestine would "begin steps" to join U.N. agencies, in a move that directly breaks with the July 2013 deal that called for Palestine to halt its pursuit of international recognition.
However, Israel also violated their side of the deal with Tel Aviv's failure to release the fourth group of Palestinian prisoners as specified under the July deal last Saturday, and also released over 700 tenders for more settlements Tuesday only hours before Abbas' public statement.
"It is completely premature tonight [however] to draw... any final judgment about today's events and where things are," Kerry told reporters in Brussels Tuesday evening upon his decision to cancel his trip to Ramallah.
The peace talks are set to expire on April 29, with Israel calling for the Palestinians to agree to extend the talks, whereas Ramallah is calling for the prisoner release as the first step before discussion on extending the talks can take place.
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