In the wake of Palestine's successful bid for non-member state observer status granted by the UN a few days ago, Israeli authorities have decided to withhold money intended for the occupied territories, according to news.com.au. This news is not surprising, considering Israel's stake in holding absolute authority over Palestinian land.
Israel is accusing the international community of violating peace accords and impeding future peace talks in the region, while keeping about $115 million in taxes from the Palestinian Authority. It is not the first time the Jewish state has responded with this type of punishment, even though the customs tariffs are legally owed to Palestine in accordance with the 1994 Paris Protocols.
However, Israel seems able to get away with a lot of violations that would be considered illegal and requiring sanctions if another country were involved. Although state representatives claim to want peace talks, they appear unwilling to compromise or give up any of their totalitarian power over the Palestinian region.
While news sites debate the outcome of the UN's majority decision, some countries, including Canada and the United States, remain firmly positioned against the vote. Somewhat uncharacteristically, the US has not vetoed Palestine's upgrade and the superpower has also criticized Israel's move to build more settlements on Palestinian land.
Whether or not this development really will be detrimental to peace talks remain to be seen. That being said, the peace talks have already stalled repeatedly over the years, so it seems unrealistic for the new Palestinian status on the international stage to be blamed for the lack of progress.