Palestinians taks part in mass demonstrations across the city of Ramallah
Palestinians protest in Ramallah after US halts aid for UN agency
RAMALLAH-- Hundreds of Palestinians took part in mass demonstrations across the city of Ramallah on Monday in the wake of a US decision to cut all funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA).
Carrying placards and shouting slogans, the protestors demanded that the UN agency that helps educate, feed and provide healthcare for more than 5 million Palestinian refugees be allowed to resume its operations.
Salha Arabi, one of many refugees inhabiting camps scattered across Ramallah, said that the fund cuts would deprive her and others of urgent access to medical care.
"We reserve the right to return to the homes our families fled or were driven from by Israeli forces," she said.
Jamal Mehaisen, a member of a Palestinian nationalist political party known as "Fatah", told KUNA that the protest is a message to the world emphasizing that the plight of Palestinian refugees is "strictly a UN issue." He added that the Israeli government was "the sole proponent of the US decision to cut funding for UNRWA.
Once its biggest donor, the US has cut all aid for UNRWA, saying that the agency needed to make unspecified reforms, sparking an outcry from the Palestinians and much of the international community.
UNRWA helps around 5 million Palestinian refugees, a figure that includes descendants of those displaced by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.