Israel has begun implementing economic sanctions against the Palestinians, after threatening to do so in wake of their new bid to join some UN organizations and recently announced unity deal between rival Fatah and Hamas, a senior Palestinian told Ynet Monday evening, a mere day before peace talks reach their deadline.
Israel confirmed additional sanctions Monday, saying has frozen plans to build housing for Palestinians in Area C of the West Bank, which is under full Israeli control. An official from the Defense Ministry’s administration in the Palestinian territories said that the decision was made after the Palestinian Authority applied to join a dozen international organizations and treaties, including the Geneva Conventions last month.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed the applications in a live televised ceremony after Israel failed to carry out the release of 26 long-term Palestinian prisoners to which it agreed last summer as part of US brokered peace talks. The Palestinians announced a renewed bid Sunday night, promising to join some 60 organizations.
The source further told Ynet that Israel informed the Palestinian leadership of its intention to begin deducing debt owed by the Palestinians from tax funds Israel collects on its behalf, as punishment for the recent moves. The news will likely further strain relations with Washington.
An Israeli official told the New York Times Monday evening that Israel had in the past received “a specific commitment from the American administration” backing its decision not to negotiate with any government which includes Hamas – a group classified as terror organization by Israel, US and EU. Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu recently said that Hamas is planning to start a new Holocaust.
A list of the sanctions Israel is expected to implement was also given after Israel announced it would freeze Palestinian construction in the West Bank:
1. The authorization for installing a G3 cellular network in the West Bank would be canceled.
2. The authorization for extending the activities of Palestinian mobile network Wataniya Mobile would be canceled.
3. No meetings at the ministerial or ministry director general level would be allowed to take place between Israelis and their Palestinian counterparts.
4. A freeze in a program which was expected to see some 14,000 dunam in Area C turned into Palestinian agriculture lands.
5. A freeze in deepwater drilling in the Gaza Marine gas field.
6. A freeze in funds transfers belonging to Palestinians in Israeli banks
7. Harming the freedom of movement enjoyed by senior Palestinian polticians and businessmen who have a VIP pass.
Read more at Ynet.