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.
American Civil Liberties Union granted request to halt deportations for one week after reunification
Trump declared that US-Russian relations have turned a corner after a summit with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that he described as "open, direct and deeply productive".
Operation is aimed at restoring confidence after last year’s illegitimate poll on Kurdish regional independence
The U.S. State Department is negotiating a potential deal to sell Turkey the Raytheon Co Patriot missile defense system as an alternative to the Russian-made S-400 system Turkey has agreed to purchase, an official said on Monday.
ISIL still maintains a limited presence in northern and western Iraq
90 more migrants in critical condition found inside shipping containers
Obama arrived in his father's native Kenya on Sunday, where he paid courtesy calls on President Uhuru Kenyatta and main opposition leader Raila Odinga.
Tensions have steadily mounted in southern Iraqi province over unemployment and lack of basic services
Speaking in an interview with CBS Evening News conducted on Saturday ahead of his meeting with the Russian leader in Helsinki on Monday, the US president also sought to temper expectations about how much could be achieved.
FETO orchestrated the defeated coup, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured
The protests hit several provinces including Basra, despite Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announcing fresh funds and pledges of investment for the oil-rich but neglected region.
US director of documentary on FETO-linked schools in US says FETO terrorists spent 18 years spreading false image of group
Basra residents complain of high unemployment and lack of basic services
Ahead of the Helsinki meeting, here is a selection of remarks the two world leaders have made about each other.