Netanyahu regime cuts off funds to Palestinians

When it comes to fundamental Palestinians rights, Netanyahu operates like a tinpot despot.

His hardline coalition partners ruthlessly oppress a long-beleaguered people unaccountably, Gazans suffering most.

Newly enacted Knesset legislation permits withholding millions of dollars of welfare payments made by the PA to families of Palestinian political prisoners and other families of Palestinians killed or wounded by Israeli ruthlessness—funds deducted from taxes Israel collects to pass on to Ramallah.

On Monday, the measure was approved overwhelmingly by an 87—15 majority. Knesset members are predominantly hardline, especially relating to Palestinian rights they disdain.

Joint [Arab] List MK Jamal Zahalka called the new bill “despicable,” adding the Knesset is “stealing from the Palestinian people.”

In heated debate, he called co-sponsor of the law Avi Dichter a “terrorist.” Ziofascist Islamophobe best describes him and most other Knesset members—militantly hostile to Palestinian rights.

Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeiheh blasted the new measure, saying, “We condemn the law to offset the prisoners’ benefits. It crosses a red line.”

It’s “a declaration of war on the Palestinian people and a severe blow to the Oslo Accords,” adding “all options are open for the Palestinian leadership, including the International Court of Justice and the UN Security Council.”

Israel ignores international law and Security Council resolutions hostile to its interests with impunity—because of full, uncompromising support by Washington, no matter how vile, cruel or lawless its practices.

Over $330 million will be withheld, Palestinian money, not Israel’s. Taking it illegally amounts to grand theft—unrelated to the stated purpose, entirely related to forcing oppressive hardships on the Palestinian people, this action one of many.

PLO executive committee member Hanan Ashwari called the new law “nothing short of highway robbery,” adding, “This is real piracy. They are stealing Palestinian funds. It’s not theirs to decide what to do with it. If we were free, we wouldn’t need Israel to collect customs.” Freezing funds effectively steals them.

Israel’s grand theft measure follows harsh Trump regime actions against Palestinians, withholding vitally needed UNWRA funding, the agency providing humanitarian aid to millions of Palestinian refugees—along with freezing US aid to the PA entirely following enactment of so-called Taylor Force legislation.

It calls for withholding aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) unless it meets four unacceptable conditions:

  • Terminating financial aid to families of Palestinians unjustly called terrorists by Israel;
  • revoking laws authorizing the aid;
  • taking “credible steps” to end justifiable Palestinian resistance against a ruthless occupier falsely called terrorism; and
  • investigating alleged Palestinian violence, publicly condemning it.

The legislation ignored Israeli high crimes of war and against humanity, its daily state terror against millions of defenseless Palestinians, falsely blaming them for Israeli crimes committed against them.

The Trump and Netanyahu regimes partner in waging war on people they want subdued, on fundamental rights they want destroyed, on rule of law principles they ignore, on democratic values they reject, on peace and stability they abhor.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

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