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US redirecting $25M in aid for East Jerusalem hospitals

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration says it is “reprogramming” $25 million in aid for East Jerusalem hospitals and will direct the money toward “high-priority projects elsewhere.”

The move announced Saturday is part of a review of U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority and in the West Bank and Gaza that was ordered by President Donald Trump to ensure the spending was in line with U.S. national interests.

The Palestinians are calling it “an act of political blackmail.”

The State Department in late August announced a cut of more than $200 million in bilateral aid to the Palestinians following the funding review. The aid cut was announced as Trump and his Middle East advisers prepare to release the administration’s peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians.