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US to cut off aid to Palestinian hospitals in al-Quds

The United States has decided to cut off financial aid to al-Quds hospitals that provide cancer treatments and other critical care for Palestinians, amid warnings of the “collapse” of medical centers.

According to Press TV, Alessia Dinkel, the US State Department Spokeswoman, told the National Public Radio (NPR) on Friday  that the administration of President Donald Trump is cutting $25 million it had planned to give to the East al-Quds Hospital Network, a group of six hospitals, some church-run, which provide care primarily to Palestinians.

According to the World Health Organization, the medical centers provide healthcare for Palestinians to whom such medical assistance is unavailable in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip.

Adnan Husseini, Palestinian Authority Minister for al-Quds Affairs, said the latest cuts were “not surprising at all”, stressing that Palestinians would not surrender to pressure from Washington.

“Let America know that all these acts will not change our position toward our cause one bit. On the contrary, it consolidates our positions toward every issue, including al-Quds,” Husseini told NPR.

Dave Harden, a former senior US official overseeing aid to the Palestinians under the Obama administration, said the cuts were “particularly vindictive”, warning that they could cause the “collapse” of two of the medical centers in the East al-Quds network.

Last Friday, the US announced it would end all funding to the UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees, known as UNRWA, and the previous week cut over $200 million in aid for the West Bank and Gaza.

The US-Palestine ties deteriorated last December, when Trump declared al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel and announced plans to transfer the embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied city.