ISRAEL - Sanctions on Arab Palestinian Funds

Arno Froese

Israel is waging a new war on the Palestinian people and their money and capabilities, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said.

He was referring to a series of sanctions announced by the Israeli Security Cabinet that include withholding tax revenues collected by Israel on behalf of the Palestinians, revoking VIP cards of some senior Palestinian officials and freezing Palestinian construction in Area C of the West Bank.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich signed an order approving the distribution of $40 million of frozen Palestinian funds to the families of the victims of terrorism. “There is no justice greater than deducting money from the [Palestinian] Authority that worked to support terrorism and transferring it to the families of victims of terrorism,” Smotrich said.

The total deductions related to health, electricity and water amounted to nearly NIS 1.6m. in 2022. Israel deducts a total of NIS 350m. as a commission for collecting tax revenues on behalf of the Palestinians. In addition, Israel is withholding another NIS 2b. collected as a tax from Palestinians who leave the country through the border with Jordan.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused the Israeli government of working to settle the disputed issues with the Palestinians unilaterally. It said that despite the sanctions, the Palestinians will continue their diplomatic and legal efforts “in order to achieve justice for our people.”, 9 January 2023

Arno's Commentary

According to Israeli sources, the government is withholding funds that are designated to support of terrorist activities. The fact that Arab Palestinians suffer to a certain degree, primarily due to Israel’s reaction to terrorism, is not to be denied. Equally, however, it cannot be denied that Israel must defend its citizens against various acts of terrorism. Furthermore, it also cannot be denied that terrorist activity originating within the Arab Palestinian community, is almost universally approved and celebrated by the prevailing government, the Palestinian Authority. Thus, the conflict will continue, as each party insists on fighting for the freedom and security of their people. 

Needless to say, reports in the media are quite overblown, since Arab Palestinians by the tens of thousands are standing in line, waiting for a permit to enter Israel in search of well-paying work. Some time ago, the Jerusalem Post reported that around 25,000 Arab Palestinians are illegally in the land. How that is possible is almost mind-blowing, since Israel has an excellent border protection system supported by highly qualified staff.

What is the answer? From a temporary perspective, it can be stated with one word: negotiation. Quite obviously, that needs to come forth from the Arab Palestinian camp. They refuse to stop educating their citizens to hate Israel; it is still popular to openly encourage the destruction of the Jewish State. That, however, will not happen due to God’s promises: “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon” (Hosea 14:4-5).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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