Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to seize some $100 million worth of tax money from the Palestinian Authority to “punish” them for trying to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) is fueling anger even from usual supporters.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin was particularly outspoken in his opposition to the move, saying withholding the money from the PA hurts Israel’s interests as much as it hurts the Palestinians, and saying keeping the PA operating was important to Israel.
Israel’s state-run electricity corporation announced today they intend to cut off electricity to Palestinians because the PA was unable to pay down its debts, which is a direct result of seizing their funds.
Netanyahu seizes Palestinian tax revenues several times a year when he gets mad at them, but the current financial straights in the PA mean this is a particularly bad time.
The State Department was also critical of the move, saying they’d warned Netanyahu not to follow through with the seizure of tax funds at this time, and that it would just “raise tensions.”