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US sends 'message' to Abbas with $80 million aid cut

The State Department has notified Congress that it's cutting FY 2015 assistance to the Palestinians by 22%.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) meets U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in the West Bank city of Ramallah October 21, 2015. Ban urged Palestinians and Israel on Tuesday to step back from a "dangerous abyss" as he arrived on a snap visit to the region at the head of international efforts to quell three weeks of violence. REUTERS/Alaa Badarneh/Pool - RTS5FEH

The Obama administration is cutting aid to the Palestinians by $80 million in what congressional sources describe as a "message" to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

The State Department notified lawmakers on Sept. 25 of its intention to reduce economic aid for the West Bank and Gaza Strip from $370 million to $290 million in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, Al-Monitor has learned. The news of the 22% cut from the department's initial request comes amid mounting criticism from Congress about Palestinian "incitement" in the rash of stabbing attacks that have left at least 10 Israeli civilians dead over the past three weeks.

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