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Citing Gaza ‘humanitarian crisis’, Democrats urge Trump to restore US funding

August 1, 2018 at 11:36 am

Palestinians in Gaza gather to call for the UN to continue its services in the beleaguered Strip [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Seven House Democrats released a joint statement on Monday urging the Trump administration “to immediately take action…to alleviate the growing humanitarian crisis” in the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip, and “restore funding for humanitarian aid” in the blockaded territory.

The letter, authored by Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan, California Rep. Barbara Lee, Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky and Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth, argues that the White House’s cuts to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) have exacerbated an already-deteriorating situation.

Palestinians to UN: Do not leave us hungry

According to the Times of Israel, the move was orchestrated by pro-Israel group J Street, who said “the US government should be taking bold action to provide humanitarian relief to those in need — and strongly encouraging Israel, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority to do the same”.

In the letter addressed to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton, the Democrats said the US should “push our partners to ease the blockade on the movement of goods, equipment and people in and out of the territory, especially for materials and supplies related to critical projects like medicine, hospital supplies and water treatment”.