What a difference a few years can make in a political conflict. After 2006, when Hamas won the PA election and Israel froze hundreds of millions in dollars in tax payments due the PA for many months, there was nary a whine from the world community. The prevailing sentiment seemed to be that Hamas and the Palestinians had it coming. There was hardly a peep of opposition.
Now, Tony Blair and Hillary Clinton are both warning Bibi that this money isn’t Israel’s to withhold and no less a figure than Ehud Barak reminds his government that if it does so it will be in violation of international agreements:
“The money is Palestinian money so it must be transferred. That is a quartet position. Hillary Clinton made the same point,” Blair told Haaretz. “I think what happens when the new government comes to power is another thing, but at the moment Salam Fayyad is the prime minister and the arrangements are what they were always.”
…Steinitz’s move is strongly opposed by Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Behind closed doors, Barak was reported describing the delay as “capricious,” adding that this was Palestinian money and that if Israel did not transfer it, it would be in violation of international agreements.