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Israel blasted for blacklisting Palestinian fund

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Author: Hani HazaimehSat, 2017-03-18ID: 1489783579230566900JEDDAH: A top Palestinian official has condemned an Israeli move to designate one of the territory’s national funds a “terrorist organization.”In statement to Arab News on Friday, Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), strongly rejected Israel’s blacklisting of the Palestinian National Fund, the PLO’s main financial body.The fund makes monthly payments to about 35,000 families of Palestinians killed or wounded in its long-running conflict with Israel.Israel’s move infuriated Palestinians, at a crucial time when US President Donald Trump’s envoy wrapped up his first visit to the region.Erekat warned of the consequences of the unilateral decision to ban the Palestinian National Fund, and urged the international community to reject the Israeli decision.“The occupation and its daily attempts and practices of ethnic cleansing against our land and people are the source of terrorism and it must be eradicated,” Erekat said.“The occupation government issues racist laws and decisions that violate international agreements and laws, as well as implementing activities that are illegal against the group. These will continue to generate violence in the region and Israel is primarily responsible for the outcomes of its irresponsible actions.”The official said Israel was seeking to eliminate legitimate Palestinian institutions, and leveled criticism against Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s defense minister. “He who must be held accountable is the minister of war, settler Lieberman, who himself lives in a settlement. What he did constitutes… a criminal act of war as per international law,” Erekat said.It was Lieberman who earlier this week announced that the Palestinian fund had been blacklisted.“The decision to declare the fund a terrorist organization stems from its continuing and ongoing activity in providing massive support for elements responsible for committing severe acts of terrorism against Israel,” Lieberman said.Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas earlier condemned the move, which came after US envoy Jason Greenblatt wrapped up several days of meetings with both sides aimed at reviving the peace process, which last collapsed in 2014.Abbas called it “an Israeli attempt to obstruct and sabotage US efforts” to relaunch peace talks. He said it is a “fundamental violation” of interim agreements signed between the PLO and Israel two decades ago, and called on “all countries of the world to reject this declaration to preserve the agreement.”
Main category: Middle-East

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