US reallocating West Bank-Israel coexistence funds to Arab-Jewish programs
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US reallocating West Bank-Israel coexistence funds to Arab-Jewish programs

Official confirms $10 million cut from Palestinian-Israel initiatives, says some will go to enhance similar programs inside Israel

Palestinian school children chant slogans and raise the victory gesture over a UN flag during a protest at a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) school, financed by US aid, in the Arroub refugee camp near Hebron in the West Bank on September 5, 2018. The United States, the biggest contributor to the UNRWA, announced on August 31 that it was halting all funding to the organization, which it labelled "irredeemably flawed" (AFP PHOTO / HAZEM BADER)
Palestinian school children chant slogans and raise the victory gesture over a UN flag during a protest at a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) school, financed by US aid, in the Arroub refugee camp near Hebron in the West Bank on September 5, 2018. The United States, the biggest contributor to the UNRWA, announced on August 31 that it was halting all funding to the organization, which it labelled "irredeemably flawed" (AFP PHOTO / HAZEM BADER)

The United States on Sunday confirmed it has cut additional aid to the Palestinians for programs supporting conflict resolution with Israelis, adding to more than $500 million in other cuts.

The latest cuts come from $10 million in programs on reconciliation involving Palestinians as well as Jewish and Arab Israelis.

The portion of the money involving Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip was being redirected to programs between Jewish and Arab Israelis, a US Embassy official said.

It was not clear how much of the $10 million was being redirected.

US officials also could not confirm whether the latest cut meant all non-security related aid to the Palestinians had now been eliminated.

“As announced in August, the administration redirected more than $200 million that was originally planned for programs in the West Bank and Gaza,” a US Embassy official said.

“At the same time, we redirected a portion of the $10 million which was planned for conflict management and mitigation.”

The official said the portion involving Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza would be used “to enhance” programs in Israel instead.

US President Donald Trump has said he will withhold aid from the Palestinians to force them to negotiate as the White House prepares a plan for Middle East peace — what he has called the “ultimate deal.”

The Palestinian leadership cut off contact with the White House after Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December.

They accuse Trump of blatant bias in favor of Israel and say he is blackmailing them to force them to accept the White House’s terms.

In recent weeks, the US government has announced more than $500 million in cuts in Palestinian aid, including canceling support for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

It has maintained security-related aid, having provided $61 million in assistance this year.

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