Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Jerusalem on Wednesday decided for the second month in a row to withhold the transfer of tax revenues it collects for the Palestinian Authority because of the PA's decision to join the International Criminal Court and initiate action against Israel.
One senior government official, explaining the decision to withhold the funds, said that monthly transfers will be held up until Israel “finishes formulating its response to the Palestinian Authority's unilateral move to the ICC, a step that runs contrary to all previous agreements.”
The careful phrasing of the announcement indicated that Israel was weighing other options as well.
In January, after Israel froze the transfer of that month's revenues, Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat hinted that in response the Palestinians might dissolve the PA and call on Israel to fully assume responsibility for the West bank and Gaza Strip.
The US has made clear it opposes holding up the funds, saying that it only increases the tensions.