Photo Credit: Flash90
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom shakes hands with her PA counterpart Riyad al-Maliki in Ramallah on December 16, 2016.

More than 90 countries on Monday night expressed their deep concern regarding the Israeli government’s decision to deny entry to Israel to several Palestinian Authority leaders following their appeal to the UN General Assembly to request the opinion of the International Criminal Court in The Hague regarding the “occupation” of Judea and Samaria.

Here is a screenshot of the statement:

Statement calling on Israel not to punish the PA. / Screenshot

The statement was signed by countries that voted for the UN resolution, but also by some that abstained and voted against the resolution. Altogether, the statement was signed by representatives of Arab nations, the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and 37 other countries, including Germany, France, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, and South Africa.

Global Affairs Canada, the department of the Government of Canada that manages its diplomatic and consular relations, on Monday issued a statement saying:

“Canada is a steadfast supporter of the International Court of Justice as the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, and it recognizes the important role the court plays in the peaceful settlement of disputes.
“We are deeply concerned by the punitive measures taken against the Palestinian Authority, which were recently announced by the Government of Israel, as well as the impact of those measures on the region’s stability and the prospect for a two-state solution.
“Canada continues to oppose unilateral actions undertaken by either Israel or the Palestinian Authority which contribute to the hardening of positions and are unhelpful to the cause of peace.
“We remain committed to the goal of comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, including a two-state solution resulting from direct negotiations between the parties.”

On January 8, Israel retaliated for Ramallah’s move by confiscating PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki’s VIP travel pass when he crossed from Jordan into Judea and Samaria.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet that Israel was imposing “sanctions against senior Palestinian figures,” because “the Palestinian Authority has promoted an extremist anti-Israeli resolution at the United Nations.”

Israel’s Defense Ministry also revoked the VIP cards of three other senior PA officials for visiting a released terrorist who spent 40 years in prison for multiple murders of Israelis.

Another painful sanction: Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich announced the distribution of roughly 139 million shekels ($40 million) of PA taxes and customs collected by Israel to victims of Arab terror attacks. The amount matches the salaries the PA pays out to terrorists behind bars in Israel and their families.

The PA’s envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour said, “we exercised our democratic rights to go to the General Assembly in a peaceful way, a legal way, and put a question to the ICJ to seek an advisory opinion.” He hailed the fact that the statement was signed by countries that abstained or voted against the resolution but objected to punishing the PA “for going to the General Assembly in an adoption of a resolution is something else. That’s why they stood with us and opposed this policy of the Israeli government, and they are demanding a reversal of this decision.”


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David writes news at