The Netanyahu government ordered Thursday a freeze on the transfer of customs and other deductions to the Palestinian Authority over its unilateral application to UN agencies to bypass negotiations. These moneys, amounting to $115 million a month, will set against the PA’s debts to Israel. The development of offshore gas fields opposite the Gaza Strip will also be halted. The Coordinator of Government Operations informed the PA of these sanctions.
Economy Minister Naftali Bennett says his Jewish Home Party will quit the government coalition if Israeli Arabs are released from jail with Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Mahmoud Abbas’s consent to go back to the negotiating table. Bennett said it is unacceptable and immoral for Israel to bow to extortion by terrorists – even if Jonathan Pollard is part of the exchange.