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Israeli Cabinet resolution rejects U.N. vote upgrading Palestinian status

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JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Cabinet approved a resolution rejecting the U.N. vote to upgrade the status of the Palestinians and said it would not transfer tax payments to the Palestinian Authority.

The resolution was adopted Sunday at the regular weekly Cabinet meeting.

"The Jewish people have natural, historical, legal rights to its homeland with its eternal capital Jerusalem," it said in part. "The State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people has rights and claims to areas that are under dispute in the land of Israel."

The resolution also said that last week’s vote by the United Nations’ General Assembly to grant the Palestinians non-member observer state status will not be used as the basis for future peace negotiations. 

"The Palestinian Authority’s one-sided step at the U.N. constitutes a gross violation of the agreements that have been signed with the State of Israel; accordingly, the Government of Israel rejects the U.N. General Assembly decision," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the meeting.

Also on Sunday, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said he would not transfer tax payments collected by Israel on behalf of the Palestinian Authority as part of the punitive measures taken in the wake of the General Assembly vote.

Instead, Steinitz said, he would use the money "to offset their debt to the Electric Corporation."

Israel collects taxes and customs duties on goods imported into the West Bank on behalf of the PA in the amount of approximately $100 million a month.

It is not the first time that Israel has frozen payments to the Palestinian Authority.
 

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