Palestine criticises Israeli economic sanctions

Ramallah, April 12: Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki Friday criticised Israel’s decision to impose economic sanctions on the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) as peace talks falter between the two sides.

“We utterly condemn this move. Israel should stop violating the international law,” Xinhua quoted Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki as saying.

Israeli officials announced Thursday that tax revenues Israel collects from goods imports on behalf of the Palestinians, which exceeds $1 billion each year, would be frozen in response to the PNA’s request to join 15 international UN conventions.

Israel has also decided to suspend its participation with the Palestinians in developing a gas field off the Gaza Strip.

On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered government offices to halt cooperation with the PNA. The decision pertains to economic and civilian cooperation with the Palestinians, and does not pertain to the activity of Israeli Justice Minister and chief negotiator Tzipi Livni, as well as the security-related coordination.

For his part, Al-Malki said Israel has not officially informed the PNA with these sanctions.