While the Foreign Ministry declined comment on the Interpol decision to grant full membership to the Palestinian Authority, Israeli politicians on Wednesday spoke out condemning it, and at least one minister called for punitive action against the Palestinians.
Environmental Protection Minister Zeev Elkin (Likud) declared that “Israel cannot stand idle in the face of the Palestinians’ diplomatic warfare. We must convene the cabinet and stop all of our goodwill gestures towards the Palestinian Authority.”
Elkin recommended that Israel suspend special transfer permits for PA officials who he said were inciting against the state.
MK Shuli Moallem (Jewish Home) said that Interpol, like other international bodies, is biased against Israel. “The struggle on our part must continue, even though it appears endless,” she said.
The Netanyahu government came in for criticism from opposition and former officials for failing to block the Interpol vote, as it had done successfully a year ago.
Former foreign minister MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Camp) called the decision “bad, bad for Israel,” and said that it was a consequence of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s failure to revive the peace talks.
Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak tweeted that it was “another one of Netanyahu’s failures. The gap between reality and impressive but empty speeches is growing. Leadership built only of ‘talking big’ is endangering Israel,” he alleged.
On the other hand, Joint List MK Ahmed Tibi welcomed the news. “This is what a diplomatic Tsunami looks like. And this is just the beginning,” he tweeted.
Later, on Wednesday night, the Prime Minister’s Office released statement saying that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had met with U.S. President Donald Trump’s special envoy, Jason Greenblatt, and Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer also attended the meeting.
“The Prime Minister raised the issue of the Palestinians’ refusal to condemn yesterday’s terrorist attack, the Palestinian call to try Israelis before the International Criminal Court in The Hague and the Palestinian accession to Interpol — a step which violates signed agreements with Israel.
“Netanyahu told Greenblatt and ambassadors Friedman and Dermer that the actions of the Palestinian leadership in recent days severely impairs the chances of achieving peace and added that the Palestinian diplomatic warfare would not go unanswered.”