Israel & US starves PLO of funds

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AHMAD Majdalani, of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Executive Committee, has warned that Israel is attempting to destroy the Palestinian Authority through more financial sanctions in partnership with the United States.

In a press statement, Majdalani said this is being done ‘through more sanctions and violations of international law and the resolutions of international legitimacy, by imposing a financial blockade of the PA.’

‘Israel believes this will compel the Palestinian leadership to comply with the so-called economic peace plan at the expense of political and legal rights of the Palestinian people … The Palestinian people cannot be compromised by political money.’

Majdalani also condemned Israeli government plans to deduct from the tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, the amount of the salaries the PA pays to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and the families of those killed by the Israeli occupation forces.

‘Israel’s  piracy of Palestinian funds is part of the sanctions imposed by the occupying state on our people, which is a clear violation not only of the bilateral agreements with the occupying state (Israel), but of the resolutions of international legitimacy and the four Geneva Conventions.

Last year, Israel passed a law allowing the Israeli government to withhold millions of dollars in tax revenues it collects every month on behalf of the Palestinian Authority under the Oslo Accords.

The monthly customs revenues Israel collects on behalf of the PA amount to more than $120 million, while the deducted money would be about $32 million.

In the last week, Israeli Prime Minister Bejamin Netanyahu has said the deductions will go ahead.

• Resistance group Hamas has slammed the participation of Arab officials, primarily Oman Foreign Minister Yousuf bin Alawi, in the Warsaw ‘peace’ conference which was also attended by Israeli leaders.

Alawi met Netanyahu on the sidelines of a United States-sponsored Middle East conference in the Polish capital, Warsaw, last Wednesday.

‘In light of this, Hamas states the following:

‘First: Hamas rejects all attempts aimed at liquidating the Palestinian cause, which is always the key issue for Arab and Islamic nations and the free people of the world

‘Second: The Israeli Occupation is the arch foe of the Arab and Islamic nations, as no country, nation, or body other than the occupation would be.

‘Third: Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Palestine and the right of return is a national constant guaranteed by the UN 194 resolution.

‘Thus, no side or body can abolish or waive the right of the Palestinian people to return to their lands from which they were forcibly displaced in 1948 by Zionist gangs, whatsoever.

‘Fourth: Given that the Israeli occupation stands behind all upheavals in the region, stability and peace can be achieved only upon ending the Israeli occupation to the land of Palestine and establishing the independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

‘Fifth: Hamas calls on Arab countries, world countries, and European parliaments to criminalise all forms of normalisation with the Israeli occupation. In addition, they must boycott the occupation and remove any form of legitimacy it enjoys.

‘Sixth: Hamas thinks that the Palestinian unity and Arab and Islamic nations and free people of the world’s support can foil all schemes targeting the Palestinian cause, above all the “Deal of the Century”

‘Seventh: Hamas calls on the Arab and Islamic nations along with all free people of the world to develop a strategy in order to provide support for the Palestinian resistance and enhance the Palestinians’ steadfastness against the “Deal of the Century”.’

• Member of Hamas’ Political Bureau, Husam Badran, also denounced Omani FM Yousuf bin Alawi’s meeting with Israeli PM Netanyahu.

‘We reject all forms of normalisation with the Israeli Occupation,’ Badran said in a press release, stressing that the meeting ‘serves only Netanyahu’s political and election interests.’

In a different statement, Hamas official Sami Abu Zohri also condemned the Alawi-Netanyahu meeting as an ‘absolute disgrace and a stab in the back of the Palestinian people.’

Abu Zohri added that this meeting only aims to whitewash the Israeli Occupation’s image and its crimes against the Palestinian people.

• The United States administration will reportedly unveil its so-called ‘Deal of the Century’ after the Israeli legislative elections on April 9th, according to Jared Kushner, a senior White House adviser and son-in-law of the US President Donald Trump.

Israeli media reported that Netanyahu said Kushner had briefed participants at the Warsaw Conference about the highly anticipated ‘Deal of the Century’ peace plan, however, would not go into details for fear of it being leaked.

Netanyahu told reporters that he looked forward to ‘seeing the plan once it is presented’.

Palestinians have already rejected this ‘peace plan’ and condemned the US Trump administration as unfit to be a mediator between Israel and Palestine.

In November 2018, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stressed ‘East Jerusalem, with all of its people, institutions and Christian and Islamic holy places, is the capital of our state,’ referring to the ‘Deal of the Century’ and the belief that the Palestinians will fall far short of their longstanding goal of establishing an independent state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Abbas added, ‘Our national unity is the most precious thing we have, and it is our strongest weapon to face the liquidation projects and conspiracies that are being waged against our national cause.

‘The attempts to separate Gaza from the homeland will not pass.’