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'US resumption of financial aid to Palestine important step'

Ramallah, March 27 Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye welcomed the resumption of US financial aid to the Palestinian ...
'US resumption of financial aid to Palestine important step'

Ramallah, March 27 Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye welcomed the resumption of US financial aid to the Palestinian Authority, describing the move as "an important step in the right direction".

Washington's decision "is an important step in the right direction to reshape the (Palestinian) relationship with the US government, which stopped during Trump's term in the White House," Ishtaye said in a statement on Friday.

On Thursday, US' Permanent Representative to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield announced that Washington was resuming assistance programs to the Palestinian people, starting with a $15 million grant allocated to the most vulnerable communities in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Greenfield also said the administration of President Joe Biden will be taking "steps to reopen diplomatic channels of communication that were halted during the last administration".

The Palestinian Authority severed all official relations with the White House and the State Department after former President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel in December 2017.

Trump cut hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Palestin, and during his administration, diplomatic contacts with Palestin came to a virtual halt.

Earlier, officials of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said they were experiencing "a most serious financial crisis" in its history due to the severe shortage of international donations.

The UN agency's financial crisis began after the US decided to cut $360 million in 2018, which was 30 per cent of its annual budget.

The UNRWA provides life-saving services to about 5.6 million Palestinian refugees in its five fields of operation that include Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.

( With inputs from IANS )

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