Israeli military officers and experts are warning against funding freezes and other punitive acts against the Palestine Authority (PA) that they insist will jeopardize security coordination with Ramallah.
Targeting PA President Mahmoud Abbas for what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has termed a “diplomatic assault” against the Jewish state will harm Israeli security interests along with those of Ramallah, experts here insist.
“When radical Islam is spreading like a virus through the region and threatening our borders, now is not the time to provoke more radicalism and instability right here at home,” an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) officer general said.
Netanyahu retaliated last week against Abbas’ UN statehood bid, which failed in a late December Security Council vote, and his successful accession to the International Criminal Court (ICC) by halting the transfer of some US $127 million in tax revenues due to the PA.
The move is just one of several harsh steps planned in response to Abbas’ ICC membership request, which was accepted Jan. 6 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon despite objections from Washington.
“The PA has chosen confrontation with Israel and we will not stand idly by,” Netanyahu told Cabinet members Jan. 4.
Other steps include encouraging supporters in the US Congress to terminate some $400 million in annual aid to Ramallah.
Provisions in a funding bill passed late last year block US President Barack Obama from waiving existing restrictions governing the transfer of US aid if the Palestinians initiate or support ICC actions against Israel for alleged war crimes.
Source:: Middle East / Africa