Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said the Jewish state is likely to retaliate after the Palestinian Authority violated one of its core peace commitments by unilaterally approaching various UN bodies for recognition.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said he signed the treaties in response to Israel’s reluctance to carry out an agreed fourth release of jailed Palestinian terrorists. Israel initially agreed to the releases to keep Abbas from, you guessed it, going to the UN (hint: if that sounds like blackmail, that’s because it is).
Israel began to backtrack on the agreement brokered by Washington after it became apparent Abbas was only remaining at the negotiating table long enough to get all the terrorists home, and had no intention of talking peace beyond that.
Now, Netanyahu is saying that if Abbas doesn’t cancel, or at least suspend, the newly signed treaties, Israel is going to take some unilateral steps of its own.
“Unilateral actions from the Palestinians will be answered with unilateral actions from our side,” said Netanyahu at Sunday’s cabinet meeting, where he noted that Israel wants to continue the peace talks, “but not at any price.”
Among the retaliatory measures Israel is considering are withholding tax revenues from the Palestinian Authority and further restricting access to parts of Judea and Samaria under Israeli security control.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian leadership said it was quite certain Washington would do nothing about its latest moves, despite voicing severe disappointment.
“I do not expect any consequences coming from the US Congress regarding this step at all,” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Al-Malki told reporters.