The Foreign Ministry has instructed the diplomatic corps to reject any letter or document with the word “Palestine” or other terminology they find objectionable, as an initial response to the Palestinian Authority’s upcoming statehood bid at the United Nations.
In a memorandum sent to Israel’s representatives abroad, a ministry official ordered them to pay attention to the phrasing of incoming mail, Ynet News reported on Tuesday.
Recent letters have included terms such as “occupied Palestine, occupied Jerusalem, the occupied territories and the state of Palestine,” the memo read. From now, any document containing such phrases “should be returned without treatment, with a request to submit a new communique as required,” the ambassadors and envoys were told. The messages delivered should use the accepted terms of Israel, the state of Israel and the Palestinian Authority territories.
The instructions were delivered to Israeli delegations abroad only days ahead of the planned UN bid, in which the Palestinian Authority will ask for an upgrade to “nonmember state.”
Jerusalem has stated it would take punitive measures against the act, but an official said the Oslo accords wouldn’t be cancelled.
“We won’t cancel any of our agreements,” the senior official said. However, the official said, Jerusalem still considers Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s unilateral step to seek nonmember state status at the UN a grave violation of agreements signed with Israel, and vowed that Israel would “respond accordingly.”
Earlier on Tuesday France became the first western power to state it would support the move, while Germany and the US have come out against the move.