Monday, March 21, 2016

  • Monday, March 21, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
Times of Israel reports:
Palestinians met Saturday with representatives of the International Criminal Court to brief them on the details of claims filed against Israel at the court which they hope will lead to the opening of formal cases and investigations of Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Palestinians provided the ICC team with data and aerial photographs of settlement activity and how it effects their lives, Haaretz reported on Sunday citing the Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad.
This is interesting, because the FY 2016 Omnibus – State and Foreign Operations Appropriations description says:

The bill stops economic assistance to the PA if they obtain membership in the United Nations or UN agencies without an agreement with Israel, restricts aid if the PA pursues actions against Israel at the International Criminal Court, prohibits funds for Hamas, and halts funds unless action is taken to counter the incitement of violence.

It seems pretty clear cut that Congress must restrict funding the PA. (The wording from the FY2015 bill seems to have been changed to get around a tortured loophole that the White House used to keep funding going after the PA's move to accept ICC jurisdiction in retroactive to the events prior to the 2014 Gaza war.)

There is one other loophole, though, that the Palestinian leaders may be relying on. If Congress only limits a token amount of funding to them, it could be argued that funding was "restricted." Knowing that the current administration is unlikely to support any real restrictions on funding, this might very well be part of their calculus.

(h/t EK)

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