Forty countries are calling for the lifting of Israel’s recent sanctions on the Palestinian Authority

Forty countries are calling for the lifting of Israel’s recent sanctions on the Palestinian Authority

Israeli soldiers guard the site of a security incident near Ramallah in the West Bank on January 15, 2023. Israeli soldiers stand guard at the site of a security incident near Ramallah in the West Bank on January 15, 2023. MOHAMAD TOROKMAN / Portal

Israel’s recent decision to sanction the Palestinian Authority following the vote on a resolution at the United Nations (UN) is causing a stir in the international community.

On December 30, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution asking the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for an advisory opinion on the issue of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. The non-binding text also demands that Israel end colonization in the occupied territories. A few days later, Israel announced a series of sanctions, including financial ones, such as collecting millions of euros in taxes owed to the Palestinians to make the Palestinian Authority “pay the price” for pushing for this resolution.

In a statement sent to journalists on Monday, January 16, some forty UN member states, which reaffirm their “unwavering support” for the International Court of Justice and international law, express their “deep concern at the Israeli government’s decision , to impose punitive measures against the Palestinian people, leadership, and civil society at the request of the General Assemblyā€¯ to the Court.

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“Regardless of each country’s position on the resolution, we oppose punitive measures in response to a request for an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice, and more generally in response to a General Assembly resolution, and call for their immediate withdrawal.” They add.

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The declaration is signed by countries that voted in favor of this resolution (Algeria, Argentina, Belgium, Pakistan, South Africa, Ireland, etc.), but also by some that abstained (Japan, France, South Korea, etc.) and others who voted against (Germany, Estonia, etc.).

“This is important because it shows that regardless of how countries voted, countries are unanimously opposed to punitive measures,” Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour said in a statement.

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Asked about the release of that statement, a spokeswoman for the UN Secretary-General reiterated Antonio Guterres’ “deep concern” at “recent Israeli action against the Palestinian Authority” and stressed that there should be “no reprisals” from the ICJ.

A Security Council meeting on the Palestinian issue is scheduled for Wednesday. An earlier meeting in early January, following a visit by an Israeli minister on the mosque esplanade in East Jerusalem, had sparked a violent clash between Israeli and Palestinian diplomats.

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The world with AFP