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U.S. Warns Israeli Sanctions Against Palestinian Authority Will ‘Exacerbate Tensions’

US President Joe Biden (L) is received by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem in the West Bank on July 15, 2022. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)
US President Joe Biden (L) is received by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem in the West Bank on July 15, 2022. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)

US State Department spokesman Ned Price on Monday condemned the sanctions approved by the Israeli government against the Palestinian Authority over Ramallah’s successful effort to have the International Court of Justice weigh in on Israel’s conduct in the Palestinian territories.

Price referred to the sanctions imposed by Israel as a “unilateral response” that will “exacerbate tensions,” while noting that they were no less problematic in Washington’s eyes than the PA’s pursuit of an ICJ advisory opinion at the UN last month.

“This is part of the reason why we’ve opposed the Palestinian move when it comes to the ICJ, knowing that it would potentially only serve to increase tensions,” Price said, after being probed on the topic during the daily press briefing. “We believe [the Palestinian effort at the UN] was counterproductive, only taking the parties further away from the objective of a negotiated two-state solution.”

He added that Biden administration officials were discussing the issue with both Israeli and Palestinian officials privately.

The sanctions approved last Friday by Israel’s security cabinet included taking some of the tax revenues Israel collects on behalf of the PA and funneling them to Israeli victims of Palestinian terrorism; deducting from the revenues to offset payments the PA makes to Palestinian terrorists, attackers, security prisoners and their families; freezing Palestinian construction in much of the West Bank; and revoking the travel permits of senior Palestinian officials.

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