U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) issued the following statement regarding the United Nations' vote granting Palestine non-member state status:
"I am disappointed in the United Nations vote to upgrade the Palestinian Authority (PA) to a non-member observer state status," said Inhofe. "The vote plays into the hands of President Abbas' political move to circumvent the peace negotiations with Israel without preconditions. It is offensive that Abbas' speech to the UN before the vote took place blamed and condemned Israel for the recent Gaza violence. Israel, our strong ally, merely acted in self-defense while the PA turned a blind eye to Hamas as they launched cross border attacks and then cowered behind the human shields of innocent civilians. This is not a country pursuing true peace, but rather an authority that only wants to engage Israel in war-crime charges before the International Criminal Court (ICC). As the Senate continues to debate the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), I am co-sponsoring an amendment that would cut all U.S. funding and remove all PA personnel in the US if the ICC entertains any legal cases against Israel that is proposed or supported by the PA or their interests."
In the NDAA debate, Inhofe was a cosponsor of the following amendments regarding the PA's new state status:
Amendment #3139 (Barrasso): The amendment would cut 50 percent of the total U.S. funds to the PA and to any U.N. entity that granted the Palestinians a status change. It would also reduce 20 percent of all U.S. foreign assistance to any country that voted for the status change.
Amendment #3203 (Graham): The amendment would end U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority if the International Criminal Court adjudicates any matter proposed or supported by the Palestinian Authority or any other entity, legally recognized or otherwise, that purports to represent the interests of the Palestinian people. It also prevents the Palestine Liberation Organization and associated groups from establishing a presence in the United States unless the President certifies to Congress that the Palestinians have entered into direct and meaningful peace negotiations with Israel.
Amendment #3254 (Hatch): The amendment would cut funding to the United Nations if Palestine is granted a change in status from a permanent observer entity before a comprehensive peace agreement has been reached with Israel.