RAMALLAH, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- Palestine urged the European Union (EU) on Thursday not to suspend funding to Palestinian organizations as called by Israeli officials.
Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said that contacts were held with the EU in order to guarantee that its financial aid to Palestinian civil organizations will not stop.
"Israel accuses any Palestinian that calls for self-determination, statehood, ending the occupation or considering settlements as a war crime, as a terrorist," said Erekat.
He slammed Israel for imposing collective punishments against Palestinians by house demolition, settlements, incursions and arrests in the past 52 years.
The Palestinian official added that the EU should hold Israel accountable for its actions, instead of suspending funding to Palestinian organizations.
Erekat's remarks came against the backdrop of Israel's calling on the EU to stop funding Palestinian organizations.
On Tuesday, Israel's Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan wrote in a letter to EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, demanding an end of EU aid to Palestinian non-governmental organizations, which he described as "terrorist organizations."
Erekat said that Israel's strategy aims to end any chance of reaching peace and prevent the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.