Israel Mulls Ways to Penalize PA in Wake of UN Human Rights Probe

Top ministers Lieberman, Ya'alon and Steinitz reportedly support freezing the transfer of tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority.

Israel is considering sanctions against the Palestinian Authority after the United Nations' Human Rights Council decided to establish an international investigative committee on the West Bank settlements.

Today, a forum of eight senior Israeli cabinet ministers is scheduled to meet in Jerusalem to discuss sanctions against the PA and representatives of the UN Human Rights Council in Israel. It is unclear whether any decisions will be made during today's meeting.

Liebrman and Netanyahu, Tess Scheflan
Tess Scheflan

Three members of the octet reportedly support freezing the transfer of tax revenues to the PA. According to one source, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz would back such a move.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Follow on Facebook and share your views

Lieberman said Friday that the move by the UN body proves that the Palestinians do not want to renew negotiations with Israel. "We are dealing with Al-Qaida terror on the one hand and diplomatic terror by Abu Mazen on the other," Lieberman said, referring to PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

Senior officials in the Prime Minister's Bureau and the Foreign Ministry said Israel would not cooperate with the UN committee. The Prime Minister's Bureau decided Friday that the committee's members - who are yet to be determined - would not be allowed into Israel.

Mahmoud Abbas and Saeb Erekat - AP - Feb. 6, 2010

More from

Egypt working to prevent Iran attacks on Israeli targets, sources say
Newly penned submarine deal shows strength of Israel-Germany ties, official says

Lieberman also said Friday that he plans to call a meeting of senior Foreign Ministry staffers to discuss next steps. One proposal is to cut off ties with some of the council's reporters who visit Israel once every few months.

Lieberman said he was considering asking the United States and other members of the council to resign. Yet this appears an impossibility, as the Obama administration, for one, views membership in the council as one of the basic building blocks of its international policy.