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PLO condemns Israeli govt's approval of financial aid to settlements

RAMALLAH, June 19 (PNA/Xinhua) -- A senior official in Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) condemned on Sunday the Israeli government's approval of providing financial assistance to Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Saeb Erekat, the PLO Secretary General, told Voice of Palestine Radio the decision clearly shows the Israeli government is a government of settlers and settlements.

The PLO official, who is also a veteran peace negotiator, accused the Israeli government of insisting to lead the entire region into extremism and damage the choice of the two states and keep the situation as it is indefinitely.

"If the world really seeks stability and peace in the region, it should dry the springs of the Israeli occupation, halt settlements and oblige Israel to be abide by all commitments," Erekat said.

Earlier on Sunday, the Israeli media reported that the government approved during a session for its weekly cabinet meeting to devote 72 million Israeli shekels (about 19 million U.S. dollars) for settlements in the West Bank.

Last direct peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, which were sponsored by the United States and lasted for nine months, stopped in April 2014 due to deep differences on major outstanding issues, mainly settlements.

Meanwhile, Erekat announced that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the PLO, would start a tour that includes several Arab and European countries, including Saudi Arabia, Belgium and Austria. (PNA/Xinhua)

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