90 countries demand Israel lift PA sanctions, restore terror funding

Countries urge Israel to stop withholding pay-for-slay money and lift other sanctions against the PA, after UN vote urging International Court of Justice to investigate Israel’s “occupation and annexation of Palestinian territory.”

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

A group of more than 90 countries — the majority of them Arab, but also including European, Asian, and South American nations — signed an open letter on Monday, demanding that Israel lift sanctions recently introduced against the Palestinian Authority.

In late December 2022, the UN passed a resolution sponsored by the PA that urged the International Court of Justice to “render urgently an advisory opinion” on Israel’s “prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of Palestinian territory.”

In response, the Israeli government launched punitive sanctions targeting the PA, including revoking special travel permits held by PA officials, withholding some $39 million in tax money that Jerusalem collects on behalf of the entity and distributing those funds to victims of terror and their families, deducting pay-for-slay money from PA tax money, and more.

However, those measures have sparked backlash from the international community, and diplomatic officials from numerous countries have claimed that the sanctions are too harsh.

Monday’s statement, which included signatures from countries that voted against the IJC resolution, expressed “deep concern” about Israel’s retaliatory sanctions.

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“As Member States of the United Nations, we reconfirm our unwavering support for the International Court of Justice and international law as the cornerstone to our international order,” the letter read.

The text called for the “immediate reversal” of Israel’s sanctions.

It was signed by major European powers, including friendly countries such as France and Germany, as well as Argentina, Greece, Japan, Korea, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, and other nations.

Pakistan, a country which does not recognize Israel’s right to exist and whose passports are stamped with the phrase “valid for every country in the world except Israel,” also signed the letter.

Algeria signed the letter in its capacity as the head of the Arab Summit, meaning that its signature also represented the countries included in that organization.

Bahrain, Morocco, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates, which have also signed normalization agreements with Israel as part of the Abraham Accords, are members of the Arab Summit.