Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is said to be weighing "punitive" measures against the Palestinian Authority for having the temerity to seek statehood from the United Nations.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he is evaluating Israel's next step. But key members of his right-wing coalition are pushing for a firm response, which they say would discourage Palestinians from pursuing their strategy of gaining United Nations recognition or taking other unilateral steps away from the negotiating table.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has warned Palestinians of grave consequences and, according to one Israeli newspaper report, threatened to quit the government unless punitive actions are taken. He later denied saying that he would quit over the issue.
Lieberman and others say the Palestinian application for U.N. membership violates the 1993 Oslo peace accords, which committed both sides to work out their differences at the negotiating table. As a result, they say Israel should annex all or part of the West Bank, terminate the Oslo accords or cut off tax transfers that Israeli ports collect on behalf of the Palestinian Authority. That revenue, about $100 million a month, accounts for much of the authority's budget.