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Israeli sanctions on Palestinians could backfire

The Israeli assumption that economic pressure will return the Palestinians to "the straight and narrow path," has already proven to be ineffective and might endanger the motivation for successful security cooperation.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement in the Independence Hall of Israel in Tel Aviv May 1, 2014. Netanyahu said on Thursday he would seek to enact a law to define Israel as a Jewish state, a step certain to raise opposition from Arab citizens who make up a fifth of the population. REUTERS/Dan Balilty/Pool (JERUSALEM - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3NETY

On April 29, Israel began economic sanctions on the Palestinian Authority (PA) on the heels of the reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas. This is accomplished by deducting the PA’s debts from the tax money that Israel collects on the PA’s behalf in accordance with economic agreements signed following the Oslo Accord. These funds serve the PA for payment of its employees' salaries. At this point, after the collapse of the negotiations and without any diplomatic resolution, the Israeli punishment has weighty implications.

Israel has already activated this type of weapon many times in the past, as far back as 1997. But not only did it not achieve its desired goals, it even caused greater damage — the results of which are borne by Israel to this very day.

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