The recent round of Israeli sanctions on the Palestinian Authority was dismissed by PLO official Nabil Shaath on Sunday when he said that the attempt to punish the Palestinians "will not stop us from joining international treaties and conventions," Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.Shaath is a member of the Central Committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and his comments came in a meeting with a German delegation in Ramallah. Shaath told the German delegation that the PA blames Israeli negotiators for the break-down of the peace talks, and called for greater international pressure on Israel to force it to abide by its past agreements with the Palestinians. Talks began to decline when Israel failed to release a group of prisoners which they had originally agreed to set loose as part of an agreement to kick-start peace talks. In response, the Palestinians applied to join several international treaties as an independent nation. This sparked the latest sanctions against the PA, which were decried by Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat as "piracy." Shaath insisted that the move by the Palestinians are within the legal bounds give to them as a recognized non-member observer state in the UN and said that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will continue to actively pursue joining international treaties and conventions.WAFA reported that Shaath assured the Germans that the Palestinians are committed to peaceful and political movements that will serve their interests and isolate Israel, while the German delegation reiterated their support for the Palestinian's right to independence. Israel's recent sanctions mark a low point in the crumbling peace talks due to expire on April 29. The sanctions include Israel's with-holding of tax revenues which the Israeli government collects and passes to the government in Ramallah. Amounting to anywhere from $100-111 million dollars monthly, the revenues add up to some two-thirds of the Palestinian's income and is vital for paying government employees. It was unclear how much of the funds would be withheld and for how long the sanctions would continue.Israel justifies the freeze on money transfers saying that any money withheld is money owed to the Israeli government for providing electricity, energy, and administration to the Palestinians whose debts to the Israelis reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars.