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US withholds more than half of 125 million from UN agency in Palestinian aid

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The United States is withholding more than half of the 125 million dollars initial aid it planned to give to the United Nations relief agency for the Palestinians. The State Department said it will hold back 65 million dollars to the UN Relief and Welfare Agency as the aid group needed to make unspecified reforms.

A UN official said the move would have devastating consequences for hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people. The agency focuses on providing health care, education and social services to Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.
US President Donald Trump had, earlier, said, Washington could cut aid if Palestinians rejected peace efforts with Israel. On Sunday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas sharply attacked Mr Trump’s Middle East peace efforts, saying he would not accept any peace plan from the US after it recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last year.

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