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PA Ministers approved a $1 million increase in funds allocated to support outstanding students who excel in the “Tawjihi” — Palestine’s general secondary examination.
The statement said an average of 950 male and female students throughout the country benefit annually from the fund, which this year will extend to support fees for two semesters rather than one.
PA ministers also called for calm regarding the bid for recognition of the Palestinian state at the UN in September. In contrast to Israeli media reports, the release after Tuesday’s cabinet meeting said, September will not be violent.
“The Palestinian people are simply requesting that the international community shoulder its political, legal, and ethical responsibilities by taking serious and immediate action to ensure an end to the unjust occupation suffered by the people of Palestine and their land,” the statement said.
Israeli abuse of Palestinian prisoners’ rights was continuing, the Ramallah-based governing body said, after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for a toughening of prisoners’ conditions in June, in what he said was an effort to put pressure on Hamas to release captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
The PA urged international governments and human rights groups to address Israel to “demand that they end ongoing violations against prisoners, ensure that they abolish arbitrary decisions and regulations that deprive prisoners of their basic rights to education, family visits, and that they cease their policy of isolation that is imposed on many of the prisoners.”
Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and the PA finance minister updated the government on the ongoing financial crisis, including presenting plans to end dependency on foreign aid for recurrent expenditures, the statement said.
“This situation requires a review of the assumptions and principles to be relied upon in preparing initial estimates for the fiscal policy over the next two years,” Fayyad told the ministers.
The PA is currently preparing the 2012 budget in order to reduce the deficit, the statement said, and the government called on donor countries, especially in the Arab world, to provide urgent aid to the government to cover expenses until the year end.