Israeli settlements, tax 'jacking' retaliation for UNESCO actions

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UNITED NATIONS — The Palestinians urged the U.N. Security Council on Thursday to take action against Israel for accelerating settlement construction and “illegally hijacking” Palestinian tax revenue in retaliation for their new membership in UNESCO.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian U.N. observer, warned that if Israel’s actions aren’t stopped immediately, the volatile region might see further “escalations and provocations.”

Palestine won its first major international endorsement on Monday when the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization voted to grant it full membership, a decision that immediately led to a cutoff in funding from the United States and Canada.

Israel retaliated by announcing construction of 2,000 new apartments in east Jerusalem, where the Palestinians want their capital, and temporarily suspending the transfer of millions of dollars in Palestinian tax revenue that it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.