Israel’s Foreign Minister has threatened to take his party, Yisrael Beiteinu, out of the ruling coalition if the government resumes the payment of tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority. Right-wing extremist Avigdor Lieberman is reported by Haaretz newspaper to have told Prime Minister Netanyahu that he is ready to carry out his threat if Israel ends its “punitive measures” against the Palestinians which were imposed following UNESCO’s decision to accept Palestine as a member.
Political commentators in Israel have warned that the withdrawal of Lieberman’s right-wing party will see Netanyahu’s government “collapse”.
This places the Israeli Prime Minister in a difficult position. His military and security chiefs have warned him that the continued freeze of the tax revenues will delay further the payment of salaries to Palestinian security forces. This, they say, will have a negative effect on security in the occupied West Bank.
Lieberman has, apparently, also linked his party’s continuation as a coalition partner to a demand to the government to keep two illegal settlements in the West Bank.