On the orders of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Israel has formally severed all civil and diplomatic contacts with the Palestinian Authority, describing the move as “retaliation” for a UN Security Council resolution critical of Israeli settlements built on occupied Palestinian land.
Defense officials say Israel’s security cooperation will remain unchanged. The Palestinians did not get to vote on the UN resolution, but praised it, saying it at the very least provided a clear denunciation of the occupation policies of Israel.
Palestinian Authority officials also downplayed Lieberman’s announced “retaliation” against them, saying they hadn’t noticed any difference in coordination with the Israeli occupation forces since the announcement. It hasn’t been clear what the differences might be so far, as there were no significant talks ongoing which would be halted by the withdrawal of diplomats.
There is speculation that it might lead Israel to revoke work permits recently issued by the Israeli government for Palestinian construction workers, and plans for an industrial zone project in the occupied West Bank might also be impacted in some way, though as of yet there is nothing concrete, and this “retaliation” may largely be for show.
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