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Israel minister: Build a new settlement for every country that recognises Palestine

May 22, 2024 at 10:50 am

Israeli Minister of finance and leader of National Zionism, Bezalel Smotrich, speaks to the press during a party meeting in Jerusalem on February 5, 2024 [Amir Levy/Getty Images]

Israel’s far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich today announced punitive measures against Palestinian Authority and called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take steps against the Palestinian Authority (PA) after Ireland, Norway and Spain announced that they would recognise the State of Palestine.

Smotrich said he would not transfer tax funds Israel collects on behalf of the PA to the Palestinians, “until further notice”.

He added that he would cancel an agreement in which Norway was due to help facilitate the transfer of tax revenues in order to prevent the financial collapse of the authority. “Norway was the first to unilaterally recognise a Palestinian state today, and it cannot be a partner in anything related to Judea and Samaria,” Smotrich said using the Jewish name for the occupied West Bank.

According to Haaretz, Smotrich also demanded “punitive measures” from Netanyahu, “including: promoting the construction of tens of thousands of housing units in the West Bank; establishing a settlement ‘for every country that unilaterally recognises a Palestinian state’; cancelling the Norwegian arrangement; promoting a government decision to strengthen settlements in the West Bank; and revoking the VIP permits of Palestinian Authority officials at crossings, alongside imposing economic sanctions on them and their families.”

This comes as Ireland announced today that it had recognised the State of Palestine, with Norway and Spain set to follow suit on 28 May.

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