- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
Palestinian vote prompts Israel to withhold funds
Question of the Day
JERUSALEM — Israel on Sunday roundly rejected the United Nations’ endorsement of an independent state of Palestine, announcing it would withhold more than $100 million collected for the Palestinian government to pay debts to Israeli companies.
It was the second act of reprisal since the U.N. General Assembly voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to support the Palestinians’ statehood initiative.
On Friday, Israel announced it would start drawing up plans to build thousands of settlement homes, including the first-ever residential developments, on a sensitive piece of land near Jerusalem. Actual construction would be years away.
Israel, backed by the U.S., campaigned against the statehood measure, arguing that only negotiations can deliver a Palestinian state.
Mr. Abbas returned home Sunday to a hero’s welcome in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Some 5,000 people thronged a square outside his headquarters, hoisting Palestinian flags and cheering. Large posters of the Palestinian leader, whose popularity had plummeted in recent months, adorned nearby buildings.
“We now have a state,” he said to wild applause. “The world has said loudly, ‘Yes,’ to the state of Palestine.”
Mr. Abbas warned of “creative punishments” by Israel. Referring to the latest settlement construction plans, he said: “We have to realize that your victory has provoked the powers of war, occupation and settlements because their isolation is deepened.”
The U.N. resolution endorsed the Palestinian position that its state includes the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, territories captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war.
Israel rejects a full pullback to its 1967 borders, and says the resolution is a way to bypass negotiations.
In Sunday’s response, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said the government would withhold taxes and customs collected from Palestinian laborers and businesses on behalf of Mr. Abbas‘ Palestinian Authority.
The money will be used to help pay off the authority’s debts to Israel, including $200 million owed to the state-run Israel Electric Corp., government officials said.
This month, more than $100 million was to have been transferred. Mr. Steinitz said Israel would decide later whether to withhold future transfers as well.
TWT Video Picks
By Drew Johnson
Inept government shouldn't be entrusted with the power to kill its citizens
- Rahm Emanuel: Send illegal immigrant shelter kids to Chicago
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- U.S. evacuates embassy in Libya amid violent clashes between militias
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Obama: U.S. should 'embrace an economic patriotism that says we rise or fall together'
- CANNON: With Russia, different airline crash, same results
- Joan Rivers: CNN should be 'ashamed' of its Israel, Gaza reporting
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq