01:24 GMT +321 August 2018
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    Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), residents of the besieged Yarmouk refugee camp near Damascus, Syria, queue to receive food supplies (File)

    PLO on Aid Cut: US 'Has No Compunction in Targeting the Innocent'

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    As the United States announced it would slash the funds it allocates to the UN agency assisting Palestinian refugees dispersed across the Middle East by over $60 million, a number of high-profile international organizations have decried the move as irresponsible and dangerous.

    The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) has slammed the US move to cut aid, saying it will deprive "the most vulnerable segment" of Palestinians of their right to "education, health, shelter and a dignified life."

    Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, has also stressed that the decision indicated that Washington is complicit with the "Israeli occupation" and is "creating conditions that will generate further instability throughout the region and will demonstrate that it has no compunction in targeting the innocent."

    READ MORE: Netanyahu Upholds Trump's Push to Cut Help to UN's Palestinian Refugee Agency

    UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also expressed his concern regarding the US decision, adding that he hoped that Washington would "maintain the funding" of UN Relief Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

    The only side that welcomed the cut in aid was Israel, with country’s ambassador to the UN Danny Damon saying that UNRWA is engaged in anti-Israel propaganda.

    The US announced its decision to reduce aid by $65 million on Tuesday, with State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert saying Washington will make a contribution of $60 million in 2018 in order to support schools and health services for Palestinian refugees.

    In comparison, Washington allocated $368 million in 2016, becoming the largest single donor to UNRWA and surpassing such contributors as the EU that paid $159 million.

    READ MORE: Palestine's Real Allies are 'Mostly in the East not in the West'- Activist

    The cut followed a series of tweets by President Trump who expressed doubt that the aid money is used properly and accused Palestinians of dragging peace talks with Israel.

    The Israeli-Palestinian conflict intensified sharply after Trump moved to recognize the entire city of Jerusalem a capital of Israel in December, causing a rise in protests throughout the Muslim world.

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    Tags:
    cuts, aid, Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), Palestine, Israel, United States
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