World Bulletin/News Desk
The United Nations urged Israel on Thursday to stop withholding tax revenues belonging to Palestinians.
A senior official from the UN's political affairs office said the Israeli freeze of millions of dollars in tax revenues collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority violates the Paris Protocol of the Oslo Accords – a 1994 deal forming the basis of the economic relations between the two parties.
The Israeli government on Jan. 3 blocked the transfer of approximately $125 million in tax revenues owed to the Palestinian Authority in retaliation of its decision to join the International Criminal Court, or ICC, to pursue war crimes charges.
"We call on Israel to immediately resume the transfer of tax revenues," Assistant Secretary-General Jens Anders Toyberg-Frandzen told the UN Security Council.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas signed the Rome Statute -- the treaty establishing the basis of the Hague-based court – Dec. 31, following the Council's rejection of a draft resolution that called for an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories within three years.
The UN said Palestine will become party to the treaty April 1. The ICC is a court of last resort to prosecute the most heinous offenses in cases where national courts fail.
Toyberg-Frandzen also said the parties were "now engaged in a downward spiral of actions and counter-actions" and called on both sides to refrain from any actions that would increase existing divisions.
"While the parties are ultimately responsible, the international community must uphold its responsibility to play an active role in shepherding an effective way forward towards the two-state solution and lasting peace," he said, referring to the UN-proposed solution that calls for an independent state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel.
Army uses live ammunition, rubber bullets to disperse stone-throwing Palestinians in West Bank, Gaza
"Deal of the Century" refers to a back-channel U.S. plan to settle the Palestine-Israel dispute
Interior Minister Alfonso Navarrete and Alejandro Murat, governor of the state of Oaxaca, were on their way to survey the scene of the destruction left by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake when the accident occurred, the interior ministry tweeted.
The arrival of Trump and his wife Melania came at the end of a difficult day for the families of those killed in Wednesday's rampage at a high school in Parkland, Florida, who learned that the carnage could perhaps have been averted.
Trump to consider report suggesting high tariffs or quotas on steel and aluminum imports
Tanks to be integrated into Iraqi armed forces 'within days', Defense Ministry source says.
Army uses teargas and live ammunition to disperse stone-throwing Palestinians in West Bank city of Nablus
Jens Stoltenberg speaks about recent events near the Kardak islets in Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece
Israeli authorities arrested resistance icon last summer for allegedly 'inciting violence'
After snap election last month in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, 4 parties form new coalition government
Rex Tillerson also plans to meet Lebanese PM and parliament speaker before wrapping up regional tour in Turkey
UN envoys of Washington and Moscow blamed each other for atrocities in Syria
Communities suffering from high suicide rates among youth, unsafe drinking water
Police identify 19-year-old former high school student Nikolaus Cruz as suspected shooter