Palestinians gathered in the Gaza Strip, Ramallah, and the West Bank on Tuesday, September 4, to protest last week's announcement by the United States that it would end all funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). Protesters in the West Bank reportedly burned pictures of US President Donald Trump, however, no significant violence was reported. Related protests are likely to continue in the coming weeks.
On August 31, the Trump administration announced that the US would cease all funding to the UNRWA. As the US has long been the UNRWA's largest contributor, advocates warn that this move could lead to a chain reaction of humanitarian consequences.
The UNRWA was created in 1949 and provides aid to Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. The organization provides vital assistance to affected communities, including education, health care, and social services. Israel has long criticized the body as anti-Israel.
Individuals present in Israel and the Palestinian Territories are advised to monitor developments and to avoid all protests and demonstrations due to persistent risk of violence. Some Western governments advise their citizens against all travel to the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and areas near the Israeli-Lebanese, Israeli-Syrian, and Israeli-Egyptian borders.
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