Photo Credit: Chaim Goldberg/Flash90
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, July 30, 2023.

The political and security cabinet on Thursday night announced it will deduct from the taxes and customs that Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority all the funds that would have been transferred from Ramallah to Gaza – in addition to deducting the funds the PA is paying as monthly salaries to terrorists behind bars and their families.

On Tuesday, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich (Religious Zionism) sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stating that since the PA had violated the 1994 Oslo Accords in every conceivable way, he intends to cut off the entire amount that Israel collects on its behalf.


Smotrich added: “After the terrible massacre that was carried out by Hamas in the communities surrounding Gaza on the Black Shabbat, the Palestinian Authority did not find it appropriate to renounce these barbaric acts, and senior PA officials even expressed their support for that horrific massacre.”

He attached a list of senior PA and PLO officials and their statements following the massacre, which either supported or excused it (Smotrich Halts Payments to Ramallah for Breaching Oslo Accords).

Smotrich abstained during the cabinet vote on the actions his ministry was directed to carry out. Minister Itamar Ben Gvir voted against transferring any funds at all to the PA. Ben Gvir continues to be the one minister in Netanyahu’s cabinet who offers correct moves on security issues, starting with his plan that was ridiculed before 10/7 to establish armed standby squads in every neighborhood and relax the rules on issuing gun permits to civilians. And he didn’t serve one day in the IDF, or, perhaps, this is because he didn’t serve one day in the IDF.

The Security Cabinet issued a statement saying it “decided to deduct all funds designated for the Gaza Strip – in addition to the deduction, required by law, of funds paid to terrorists and their families – from Palestinian Authority funds. Israel is severing all contact with Gaza. There will be no more Palestinian workers from Gaza. Those workers from Gaza who were in Israel on the day of the outbreak of the war will be returned to Gaza.”

Speaking of which, on Thursday, 568 Gaza Strip residents with Israeli work permits who were stuck in the country on October 7 submitted a petition to the High Court of Justice asking to be sent to the PA rather than to Gaza.

Those Gazans, who are kept in a closed facility that was set up for them, are represented by two NGOs: Gisha, which normally promotes manufactured proof of Israeli apartheid in an ongoing campaign to delegitimize Israel with some $8 million they received from foreign entities between 2012-2023; and Moked which focuses on a campaign against the Israeli “occupation” of Gaza (never mind that Israel left Gaza in 2005).

Here’s a peculiar thing you won’t find anywhere else in the world: neither NGO presented papers to suggest the Gazan workers want to be represented by them! And yet, Justice Ruth Ronen gave the state until next Wednesday to respond.

Back to the cabinet’s decision – both PM Netanyahu and DM Gallant worked hard to push and cajole the ministers into supporting the continued funding for Ramallah, albeit somewhat curtailed. Both argued that the PA must be protected from collapsing. God help us, if there ever was a hardcore part of the Conseptzia, it is that the PA is somehow crucial to Israel’s security. It’s amazing to me how the same people who appear to recognize their failure regarding Hamas are still holding on to their preconceived notions about the PLO.

Here’s the thing: Netanyahu is merely carrying water for the Biden administration that believes the PA must be extended to the Gaza Strip after the war, as part of a renewed campaign to institute the 2-state solution. This is the mantra President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken have been repeating since Netanyahu retook the government in January. They even conspire to unseat Netanyahu because they fear that his heart is not in 2-state. So, Netanyahu and Gallant developed the concept of the four-front strategy: Israel is facing Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas et al in Judea and Samaria, and Iran everywhere else. For the time being, according to this strategy, Israel conducts an offensive war in Gaza and a defensive war on the remaining three fronts.

This means don’t rock the boat in the PA, at least for now.

It’s Conceptzia writ large, and it will eventually bite the area where Bibi’s back loses its honorable name.


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