Wednesday, 7 January 2015


Jerusalem will ask Congress to ensure that a law banning funding for the PA if it joins the International Criminal Court is enforced.
A Republican controlled Congress is set to convene this month. It appears that they will strike back against the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) diplomatic warfare against Israel and will examine further actions against a nuclear power-seeking Iran.
Israel’s Haaretz quoted an Israeli official on Sunday who stated that Jerusalem will turn to pro-Israel members of Congress asking them to ensure that a law banning funding for the PA if it joins the ICC is enforced.
The Jerusalem Post reports that discussions are now under way in Congress as to whether the PA has violated US appropriations law. The U.S. is the PA’s primary financier, dealing out $400 million in annual aid.
Current US law, in accordance with a new bill passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama last month, stipulates that State Department economic support funding may not be given to the PA if “the Palestinians initiate an International Criminal Court (ICC) judicially authorized investigation, or actively support such an investigation, that subjects Israeli nationals to an investigation for alleged crimes against Palestinians.” Senate aides told the Post that the PA’s attempt to join the ICC, from which it intends to continue its diplomatic onslaught against Israel, constitutes a breach of this law.
PA head Mahmoud Abbas. (Photo:  STR/Flash90)
PA head Mahmoud Abbas. (Photo: STR/Flash90)
Congress had suspended aid to the PA in the past and the Post speculates that Obama administration officials may ultimately agree to a suspension of Palestinian aid.
Speaking during a press briefing on Monday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki conceded that penal actions against the PA are on the table. “There could be implications on assistance [to the PA]. There are a range of ways that could take place.”
Congress plays a central role in this move, as “Congress has a great deal of power in that regard, and that has been historically true. They are obviously watching closely what happens,” Psaki said.
The U.S. has harshly condemned this latest Palestinian course of action, stating that the U.S. was deeply troubled by the Palestinian action regarding the ICC. “It is an escalatory step that will not achieve any of the outcomes most Palestinians have long hoped to see for their people,” State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said last Wednesday. “Today’s action is entirely counter-productive and does nothing to further the aspirations of the Palestinian people for a sovereign and independent state. It badly damages the atmosphere with the very people with whom they ultimately need to make peace.”
By: Aryeh Savir
Staff Writer, United with Israel

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