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Ties with Israel at 'point of no return': Palestine

Ties with Israel at point of no return: Palestine

Ramallah: A Palestinian official Monday said ties with Israel reached a "point of no return" after Israel decided to halt the transfer the tax revenues to the Palestinian National Authority.

"Israel is practicing a collective punishment against the Palestinian people," said chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, in a statement following his meeting with foreign diplomats in the West Bank, according to a Xinhua report.

"The Palestinian-Israeli ties would never return to what it used to be before signing up to join international agencies and treaties, mainly the International Criminal Court," said Erekat. "Keeping this situation is impossible."

Erekat also referred to what he described as the Israeli government's "endless threats" against the Palestinian leadership, the Palestinian people and the international agencies.

He urged Israel to declare its commitment to abiding by international treaties.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made his decision to join international treaties after the UN Security Council (UNSC) failed to vote in favour of a draft resolution that called for an end to the Israeli occupation within three years.

In response to the Palestinian move to join international treaties, mainly the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Israel withheld the tax revenue it collects from Palestinian imports.

According to Oslo accords, signed in 1993 between Israel and the Palestine, Israel collects taxes on behalf of the Palestinians from Palestinian imports at Israeli seaports, and pays them back to the Palestinians.

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