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Israel Asks U.S. Congress to Halt Palestinian Aid

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas / AP
• January 5, 2015 9:34 am

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Israel is seeking punishment for the Palestinian Authority following the P.A.’s request to join the International Criminal Court at The Hague, Haaretz reports.

Israel wants the U.S. Congress to punish the P.A. if it seeks action against Israel at the ICC.

A senior Israeli official said on Sunday Jerusalem would be contacting pro-Israel members of the U.S. Congress to ensure the enforcement of legislation stipulating that if the Palestinians initiate any action against Israel at the ICC, the State Department would have to stop American aid to the PA, which comes to some $400 million annually. The stop-gap funding bill was passed in Congress last month.

Both houses of the new Congress to be seated later this month will be controlled by the Republican Party, with many key positions filled by senators and representatives who are pro-Israel and anti-Palestinian. The law regarding the Palestinians initiating action at the ICC is strongly worded and states that President Barack Obama cannot waive a decision to halt aid to the PA.

The U.S. administration is concerned about the ramifications of halting the financial assistance, which is liable to make it impossible for the PA to pay the salaries of tens of thousands of employees. Although Arab states have promised to provide the PA with a financial security net, the Americans believe that, as in the past, the Arab states won’t cough up the money they promised and won’t work to keep the PA afloat.

Published under: Israel