Published: 11:00, May 23, 2024
Palestinian PM warns of escalation after Israeli minister proposes sanctions
By Xinhua
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa speaks to journalists in the West Bank town of Tulkarem, during his visit to the area in the aftermath of a deadly raid by Israeli forces in the nearby Nur Shams refugee camp, April 22, 2024. (PHOTO / AP)

RAMALLAH - Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa on Wednesday warned of an escalation of tension after an Israeli minister announced plans to impose sanctions on the Palestinian Authority.

Mustafa made the remarks during a meeting in Ramallah with 50 members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the State of Palestine, and representatives of international organizations and institutions, according to a statement released by his office.

According to the radio, Smotrich called for the approval for the construction of tens of thousands of settlement units in the West Bank and the establishment of a settlement for every state that "unilaterally" recognizes a Palestinian state

Mustafa underscored the grave consequences of the Israeli official's proposed sanctions on the Palestinian people, leadership, and institutions, saying they would lead to "an escalation of the situation."

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Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take immediate action against the Palestinian Authority due to its "unilateral steps" against Israel, including its efforts to gain the recognition of Palestine at the United Nations, as reported by the Israeli public radio.

According to the radio, Smotrich called for the approval for the construction of tens of thousands of settlement units in the West Bank and the establishment of a settlement for every state that "unilaterally" recognizes a Palestinian state.

In a letter addressed to Netanyahu, Smotrich said that he would not transfer clearance revenues (taxes collected by Israel on behalf of the Palestinian Authority) to the Palestinian Authority, according to the radio.

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The Israeli minister's demands followed announcements from Spain, Norway, and Ireland on Wednesday regarding their recognition of the Palestinian state, set to take effect on May 28.

Mustafa urged countries that have not yet recognized Palestine to expedite the process and support the Palestinian people's right to self-determination and the establishment of their independent state in accordance with international resolutions.

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Israel launched a large-scale offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip to retaliate against a Hamas rampage through the southern Israeli border on Oct 7, 2023, during which about 1,200 people were killed and more than 250 were taken hostage.