Several countries reject Israel's 'punitive' sanctions against Palestinians
An Israeli student waving Palestinian and Israeli flags during a demonstration against the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv.
Some 40 countries on Monday called for the lifting of sanctions adopted by Israel against the Palestinian Authority in retaliation for a UN General Assembly resolution asking the International Court of Justice ( ICJ) to examine the Israeli occupation.
On December 30, the General Assembly passed a resolution requesting an opinion from the ICJ on the question of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. A few days later, to make the Palestinian Authority pay the price for pushing for this resolution, Israel announced a series of sanctions, including financial ones.
In a statement released to reporters on Monday, some 40 UN member states, reaffirming their unwavering support for the ICJ and international law, express deep concern over the Israeli government's decision to impose punitive measures on the Palestinian people, leadership and civil society after the General Assembly petition to the Court.
Regardless of each country's position on the resolution, we reject punitive measures in response to a request for an opinion from the International Court of Justice, and more generally in response to a General Assembly resolution, and we call for their immediate withdrawal.
The declaration is signed by countries that voted for this resolution (Algeria, Argentina, Belgium, Pakistan, South Africa, Ireland…), but also by some that abstained (Japan, France, South Korea. ..) and others voting against (Germany, Estonia…).
It's important because it shows that regardless of how the countries have voted, they are united in the rejection of the punitive measures, welcomed in a press release the Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour.
Questioned on the release of this statement, a spokeswoman for the UN Secretary General reiterated Antonio Guterres's deep concern over recent Israeli moves against the Palestinian Authority, stressing that he there should be no reprisals in connection with the ICJ.
A meeting of the Security Council is due to take place on Wednesday on the Palestinian question. A previous meeting in early January, after a far-right Israeli minister visited the Mosque compound in East Jerusalem, resulted in a violent exchange of arms between diplomats Israelis and Palestinians.