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PA financial crisis could be obstacle to joining int'l bodies

Jan. 4, 2013 11:26 A.M. (Updated: Jan. 6, 2013 12:41 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority's financial crisis may prevent it from joining several international and United Nations institutions following Palestine's recognition as a non-member state in November, a legal official said Friday.

Hassan al-Ouri, President Abbas' legal adviser, told Ma'an that the PA is studying several initiatives to join multilateral institutions but may be restricted from joining several bodies due to the high financial cost of membership, without giving details.

The PLO Executive Committee met Thursday and considered a detailed report which included concrete steps on accession to international treaties and joining other international bodies.

After winning a UN status upgrade in November, Palestine could sign the International Criminal Court's Rome Statute, allowing prosecutions for genocide, war crimes and other major human rights violations on Palestinian territory.

In December, the Israeli government seized Palestinian tax revenues it collects on behalf of the PA in response to the successful UN upgrade.

Israel has previously frozen payments to the PA during times of heightened security and diplomatic tensions, provoking strong international criticism, such as when the UN cultural body UNESCO granted the Palestinians full membership a year ago.
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