Palestinian presidency condemns proposed Israeli settlement expansion budget boost

Xinhua
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The Palestinian presidency on Monday condemned Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich’s plan to allocate additional budgets for reinforcing settlements in Palestinian territories.

   Nabil Abu Rudeineh, the presidential spokesperson, said in a statement that the proposal by Smotrich to allocate millions of shekels in the current budget to expand settlements “falls within the framework of a comprehensive war against the Palestinian people, their land, and their sanctities.”

   The Israeli cabinet is about to discuss changes to the 2023 state budget due to the needs of the conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, with Smotrich insisting on keeping more than 300 million shekels in discretionary funds for settlement development, the Times of Israel reported.

   Abu Rudeineh said that the proposal came at a time when Israel was withholding tax revenues from the Palestinians and was waging a war in Gaza and the West Bank.

   He warned against the dangerous implications of the Israeli plan on the region’s security and stability.

   He called for pressure on the Israeli government to prevent the implementation of the plan and the release of Palestinian funds held by Israel.

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