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Israel freezes Palestinians' tax revenues

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By Irene Nasser and Michael Martinez, CNN

 Jerusalem (CNN)—Israel has decided to freeze the transfer of more than $127 million in tax revenues collected on behalf of the Palestinians in the wake of their bid to join the International Criminal Court, Israel's newspaper Haaretz reported Saturday.

A Palestine Liberation Organization spokesman said that the freezing of tax revenues is an Israeli decision.

"Palestinians took a legitimate step with the ICC and we are being returned not in kind. They are following our legal step with an illegal one," said Xavier Abu Eid, spokesman of the PLO's Negotiations Affairs Department.

Israeli authorities couldn't be immediately reached for comment.

On Wednesday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas signed a bid to join the International Criminal Court.

That move came a day after the U.N. Security Council rejected a resolution calling for Palestinian statehood by 2017, and for Israel to withdraw from the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The bid sets the stage for the Palestinian Authority to possibly pursue war crime complaints against Israel.

The U.S. State Department, however, has said it was "deeply troubled" by the Palestinian Authority's move, calling it an "escalatory step."

The State Department said "direct negotiations are ultimately the only realistic path" for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.


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Guest Tuesday, 25 February 2020