Israel’s delay in transferring tax revenue provoked by Palestine’s ‘Oslo’ violations

Your editorial (Irish Examiner, January 5) castigates Israel’s action in delaying the monthly transfer of tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority, on whose behalf it collects them, as a “bid to make life even more miserable for the people of Palestine”.

You go on to call it “a mean-spirited gesture of retaliation” for the Palestinian application to join the International Criminal Court.

To those not familiar with the terms of the Oslo Accords, signed by Israel and the Palestinian leadership in 1993, it certainly might seem as if Israel’s action is motivated merely by petty revenge. However, an understanding of those terms will make the context clear.

The Oslo Accords gave 96% of the Palestinian-Arab people in Judea-Samaria (the “West Bank”) self-rule under the Palestinian Authority.

The Palestinians undertook, among other things, not to seek a final-status determination (to set up an independent state) outside of negotiations with Israel.

They have now violated this undertaking by launching a unilateral drive for recognition of Palestinian statehood at the UN, and among EU states. They have done this after rejecting three offers by Israel, starting with the Clinton Parameters, in 2000, to set up an independent Palestinian state by negotiation. Further, they have set up a ‘unity’ government with the terrorist organization, Hamas.

They also undertook to give Israel exclusive jurisdiction over Israeli nationals in the West Bank territories. This they have also violated, by seeking to join the International Criminal Court.

The collection of taxes on behalf of the Palestinian Authority was one of the commitments entered into by Israel under Oslo. But the Palestinian leadership cannot continue to claim rights such as this, under Oslo, while they simultaneously violate the treaty in major ways. They cannot have it both ways.

Nutrit Tinari-Modai

Deputy Ambassador of Israel

Israeli Embassy

Carrisbrook House

122 Pembroke Rd

Ballsbridge

Dublin 4

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