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Church groups outraged as US denies critical support to Jerusalem hospitals

US President Donald Trump's decision to redirect $25 million earmarked for Palestinians in East Jerusalem hospitals to "high-priority projects elsewhere" leaves seriously ill patients caught in the middle of "political blackmail."
People walk outside of the Augusta Victoria hospital in East Jerusalem on September 9, 2018. - The United States plans to cut $25 million in aid to six hospitals primarily serving Palestinians in Jerusalem, a State Department official confirmed on September 8. The official said the decision followed a President Donald Trump-directed review of assistance to the Palestinian Authority and in the West Bank and Gaza "to ensure these funds were being spent in accordance with US national interests and were providi

Church groups in the United States and Europe have begun a worldwide campaign in opposition to the latest last-minute decision by the Donald Trump administration to deny support to six Palestinian hospitals in East Jerusalem. The financial punishment falls within the efforts of the executive branch in the United States to pressure Palestinian negotiators.

Pauliina Parhiala, a representative of the World Lutheran Federation that runs Jerusalem’s August Victoria Hospital, told Al-Monitor that the decision to stop $25 million in aid — of which the largest parts, $11 million, were earmarked for Makassed and the Augusta Victoria hospitals each — came at the last moment. “We had a visit from USAID last week, and they said that a final decision about the release of the money will be made in the White House even though the money was already approved by Congress.”

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