In its first meeting after formation of the extremist government, the Israeli Security Cabinet decided on Thursday, 05 January 2023, new steps in response to so-called “the Palestinian Authority’s decision to wage political and legal war against the State of Israel.” These measures include disbursement of 139 million shekels to the families of so-described as “victims of Palestinian militant attacks” from the tax revenues, which Israel collects on behalf of the PA (according to the Palestinian-Israeli Interim Agreement), as well as offsetting the stipends the PA pays to the families of Palestinian detainees in the Israeli prisons. These punitive measures also include a freeze on Palestinian construction projects in the West Bank’s called Area C that is under full Israeli control; repealing the VIP passes, which the Israeli occupation issues for the Palestinian figures; and taking steps against organizations in the West Bank promoting hostile activity, including legal and political activity under the “guise of humanitarian work.”
“The Israeli occupation commits war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), including crimes of persecution and ethnic cleansing and exercises racial discrimination against the Palestinian people. It confiscates Palestinian land on daily basis, commits murders against the Palestinian civilians and destroys the Palestinian property around the clock. Israel wants to commit all of this quietly and silently, and at the same time denounces Palestinians’ use of international law tools and moves at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) or even at the International Criminal Court (ICC),” said Raji Sourani, Director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) commenting on these measures.
“It is unbelievable how the international community continues with its silence on the Israeli crimes while the new Israeli government is very clear about its fascist programme, but no one has commented on that! It is unacceptable that double standards continue, and it is shameful to see most Europe abstain or vote against the General Assembly's resolution to seek the ICJ’s opinion. It is such a shame that Europe stands with Israel against the international law! We want nothing from Europe more than standing with its principles and morals away from any selectivity and politicization and it is time to do so. The world must take immediate steps against Israel’s international impunity and end the flagrant denial of the Palestinian legitimate rights. Now is the time to isolate and boycott Israel's apartheid similar to the boycott of the former apartheid regime in South Africa,” Added Sourani
These measures come in response to Palestine’s move at the ICJ as stated by the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office following the UN General Assembly’s resolution on 30 December 2022, requesting the ICJ to give an advisory opinion on the legal nature of Israel’s prolonged military occupation of the oPt and the responsibilities of the third-party states.
PCHR believes that these measures constitute a complex crime against the Palestinian people: Israel commits the crime and punishes anyone trying to prosecute it or hold it accountable before the international courts! These measures will have serious consequences on the PA’s financial performance and the movement of the PA figures, especially the staff of the Palestinian Foreign Affairs Ministry, which leads Palestine’s efforts at the UN and international forums. These measures also foreshadow a new campaign targeting the human rights organizations, which work on prosecuting Israel before the international courts.
PCHR calls upon the international community to take tangible steps to put an end to the deep-rooted Israeli disavowal of the international law. PCHR stresses that the international community’s inaction encourages the Israeli occupation and the neo-fascist government to continue committing more crimes against the Palestinian people and to perpetuate their apartheid and the settler colonization of the oPt.