Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported that the United States Senate threatened to block all funding to the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) in the West Bank should the Palestinians decide to sue Israel for war crimes at the International Court.Senators Lindsey Olin Graham, John Barrasso, Charles (Chuck) Schumer and Bob Menendez stated that the Palestinian Authority should not sue Israel should they join the International Criminal Court, and that President Mahmoud Abbas must go back to the negotiation table with Israel, and if they sue Israel, the United States will block all funding.
The senators also threatened to shut down the office of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in Washington D.C. should the P.A. refrain from resuming peace talks with Tel Aviv.
Meanwhile, Victoria Nuland, spokesperson for the United States Department of State, stated that “the path to peace between Israel and the Palestinians passes through Jerusalem and Ramallah, and not through the United Nations”.
Nuland added that the United States wants all parties to return to the negotiation table regardless of the UN vote.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, reiterated the American stance rejecting the UN vote and all steps that she regarded as “unilateral”.
The Palestinian bid for a nonmember state status at the United Nations General Assembly passed Thursday by 138 votes, while only 9 countries voted against and 41 countries abstained.
As expected, the United States and Israel voted against the bid in addition to Panama, the marshal Islands, the Czech Republic, Micronesia, Palau and Nauru.
Following the vote, thousands of Palestinians took off to the streets celebrating the vote outcome raising Palestinian flags, pictures of President Mahmoud Abbas, and chanted for liberation and for unity among all Palestinian factions.