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Internal Palestinian issues
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Internal Palestinian issues
There are many internal issues concerning Palestinian society that are not related to Israel. This section will track these subjects and update them regularly.
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PA stops referring Palestinian patients to Israeli hospitals, following implantation of Israel’s anti “pay-for-slay” law
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mar. 27, 2019
     “[PA] Ministry of Health Spokesman Osama Al-Najjar announced the cessation of medical referrals to the Israeli hospitals, starting from yesterday [March 26, 2019].  Al-Najjar explained that this decision was made in response to the deduction of sums from the taxes that [Israel] collects each month for the Palestinian coffers (refers to Anti “Pay-for-Slay” Law to deduct terrorist salaries; see note below –Ed.). He added that the cost of the referrals to the Israeli hospitals is $100 million a year, and emphasized that the Ministry of Health will be committed to find alternatives for the sick in the state hospitals and in private hospitals. He also said that they are discussing additional alternatives, in case there will be a need for them. Al-Najjar calmed our people that this decision will not affect the health services that they receive, and that the ministry is committed to provide the necessary treatment to all who need it. Al-Najjar said: ‘The decision is political par excellence, and comes in response to Israel deducting sums from the money that it collects for us.’”
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PA Finance Minister: Salaries of PA employees will be paid at a rate of 50%, no less than 2,000 shekels
Source: WAFA, official PA news agency, Mar. 10, 2019
Headline: “[PA] minister of finance at a press conference: The salaries will be paid today at a rate of 50% and will be no less than 2,000 shekels”
      “[PA] Minister of Finance and Planning Shukri Bishara said that the salaries of the public employees for the month of February will be paid today, Sunday [March 10, 2019], at a rate of 50%, and no less than 2,000 shekels. Bishara explained at a joint press conference, which was held on Sunday with [PA] Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Information Nabil Abu Rudeina and [PA] Government Spokesman and Deputy Minister of Information Yusuf Al-Mahmoud, that 40% of the clerks will receive a full salary – those whose salary is less than 2,000 shekels [a month]. He also announced a freeze in appointments, raises, and the purchase of assets, the rationing of travel refunds, and other decisions in order to deal with the financial crisis.”

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Facebook closes official page of Fatah’s Commission of Information
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 28, 2019
Headline: “Facebook management closes the page of the Fatah Movement’s Commission of Information”
        “As part of the attack on the Palestinian National Liberation Movement – Fatah, yesterday evening [Feb. 27, 2019] Facebook management closed the page of the [Fatah] Commission of Information, Culture, and Ideology – the official information page of the [Fatah] Movement. The Commission of Information, Culture, and Ideology emphasized in a press statement that it will continue its informational activity on all of the other social media platforms and on the ‘Fatah Information’ website (i.e., the website of the Fatah Commission of Information, Culture, and Ideology).”

PA Minister of Finance explains pay cuts: Terrorists keep a full salary, but public employees and private sector must sacrifice
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Feb. 21, 2019

Press conference by PA Minister of Foreign Affairs Al-Malki and PA Minister of Finance Bishara

PA Minister of Finance Shukri Bishara: "Our leadership’s decision is that if [Israel] deducts [even] a penny we will not accept the tax money... [The public employees receiving] 2,000 [shekels] are secure 100%. [Those receiving] an additional 1,000 [will be paid] at a rate of 60%-70%... Those who will sacrifice in this equation are those whose salaries are higher. We want to preserve the lower salaries. We will have a single standard for the whole society. The private sector – at the least we will not stop its solvency. The pensioners – we will protect their pensions 100%. The prisoners and released prisoners – 100%. Those are the instructions of the President and the leadership – and we will not disappoint them on this matter. We do not want to delude you, we [stand] before difficulties."
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PA minister reacts to Israel’s cut to PA tax transfers: "This theft against our people and its resources is liable to endanger the financial activity… which will lead to a deterioration of the difficult financial situation"
Source: Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, Feb. 17, 2019
Headline: “The [PA] Minister: The theft of our money by Israel is a blow to the national economy”
         “[PA] Minister of National Economy Abir Odeh said today (Sunday) [Feb. 17, 2019] that the fact that Israel has stolen from the State of Palestine’s tax money (refers to Israeli law to deduct terrorist salaries from PA tax money; see note below –Ed.) is a violation that joins the endless Israeli violations of the Paris Economic Protocol (i.e., Paris Agreement; see note below). The minister added that this theft against our people and its resources is liable to endanger the financial activity and cause a drop in it, which will lead to a deterioration of the [already] difficult financial situation. She warned about the consequences of this decision on the different levels. Minister Odeh called on the international community to carry out its obligations regarding the Israeli decision, which contradicts international law and whose goal is to impose a siege on our people and blackmail it financially in order to execute [Israel’s] racist policy while conspiring with the American administration. Minister Odeh noted that the Palestinian [PA] government is examining the existing options to respond to this decision.”

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Abbas announces his plan to dissolve the inactive PA parliament and call for elections
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Dec. 22, 2018
Official PA TV, speech by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas at a meeting of the PA leadership at the PA headquarters in Ramallah

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: “Regarding Hamas, we have spoken about the topic of ending- starting the steps to annul (sic., dissolve) the [PA] Parliament (Legislative Council), which has not been active for 12 years. However, the [PLO] Central Council spoke here about this topic and others… there is no avoiding a legal process. The result was that there is no avoiding us asking the legal system. People went to the legal system to complain. The result was that the topic reached the constitutional court, and it issued a decision to dissolve the parliament and call for elections for the parliament within six months, and this is our obligation to carry out quickly, as a first step.”

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PLO official and PA congratulate Arab residents of Jerusalem for boycotting the municipal elections, calling the boycott a “slap on the cheek” for Israel
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 1, 2018
Headline: "Official bodies welcome the slap on the cheek that the residents of Jerusalem gave the occupation in its municipal elections"

"PLO Executive Committee Secretary [and Fatah Central Committee member] Saeb Erekat expressed his appreciation of the firm historic position of the members of our people who are residents of Jerusalem, who did not participate in the occupation's municipal elections in Jerusalem, and refused to legitimize the rule of the occupation, which is implementing a colonialist policy in the city…
The [PA] national unity government congratulated the members of our people who are standing firm in occupied Jerusalem, our eternal capital, for thwarting the latest plot of the occupation, which attempted to have them participate in the occupation's municipal elections."

Saeb Erekat also holds the position of PLO Chief Negotiator.
Fatah official and PA TV host claim Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat’s cleaning of Shuafat refugee camp constitutes an invasion and a “violation of humanitarian law”
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Oct. 28, 2018
Official PA TV program, A Week in the Capital, on the Jerusalem Municipality cleaning the streets of the Shuafat refugee camp

Official PA TV host: "In what is considered a dangerous precedent that threatens the activity of UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East), Head of the occupation’s municipality [Jerusalem Mayor] Nir Barkat and the staff of his municipality invaded the Shuafat refugee camp and began cleaning activities in the streets of the refugee camp as blatant defiance of UNRWA’s missions and a violation of humanitarian law."

Fatah Jerusalem Area Branch Deputy Head Adel Abu Zneid: "Nir Barkat is whining that the Shuafat refugee camp lacks cleaners. It would have been more fitting for him to remove the barrier where each morning and evening lines of Jerusalem residents – elderly, children, and women – stand, every morning and every evening. It would have been more fitting for him to remove the fence that encloses the Shuafat refugee camp, which has turned the Shuafat [refugee] camp into a prison. It would have been more fitting for him to stop the flow of sewage water from the settlements into the Shuafat refugee camp (sic., sewage is not directed into the camp). This is a plot being carried out by the head of the municipality that has two goals. The first goal is to attract the Palestinian Jerusalem voters for election campaigning. The second position is that Israeli Nir Barkat come off as a hero who succeeded in 'erasing' a just cause – the cause of the Palestinian refugees – which is guaranteed by international legitimacy."
Fatah: “that those who illegally sell land to Israelis, directly or indirectly, are collaborators and traitors” and will "wish for death in order to be freed of their treason"
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 27, 2018
Headline: “Fatah: Those who illegally sell land are collaborators and traitors against the religion and the land”

“The Fatah Movement emphasized that those who illegally sell land to Israelis, directly or indirectly, are collaborators and traitors against the religion, the land, the people, the blood of the Martyrs (Shahids), and our brave prisoners. It added that the curse of fate will pursue them and they will be banished and despised; that their treason will haunt them everywhere until they reach the point where they wish for death in order to be freed of their treason – but they will not find it.
Fatah Revolutionary Council member and [Fatah] Spokesman Osama Al-Qawasmi… demanded that all the families publicly denounce the traitorous collaborators who sold their consciences and were happy to serve as pimps and support the Israeli occupation against the members of their people.”
Fatah in response to Netanyahu suggesting solution in which the West Bank will remain under Israeli control: “`We will not agree to half solutions,” and “the definition of a refugee” must not be negotiated
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 26, 2018
Headline: "Fatah: Our right is not a kindness from Netanyahu"

"The Fatah Movement emphasized that 'Our people’s rights are firm and stable. They cannot be undermined, reduced, or turned from a fully sovereign state whose capital is Jerusalem into a distorted entity under Israeli control, in accordance with the occupation's view.'
These statements by the movement were in response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s words yesterday [Oct. 24, 2018], according to which 'he agrees to a Palestinian entity that is less than a state and more than an autonomy, and that the West Bank will remain under Israeli security [control].'
[Fatah] Movement Spokesman Osama Al-Qawasmi emphasized: 'We will not agree to half solutions, and we must not accept rescue solutions that will diminish our right due to the present difficult situation. We also must not negotiate over the principle of our rights in general, and Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine in particular, or over the principle of the definition of a refugee.'"

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he supported a Palestinian "state-minus… in which the Palestinians have all the powers to govern themselves but none of the powers to threaten us… Israel alone will be responsible for security." He said this at the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America, which was held in Tel Aviv on Oct. 24, 2015.

Official PA daily claims that “Israeli occupation forces escalated their violations” in Gaza, then admits “the attacks were carried out after a rocket fell on a home in Be’er Sheva”
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 18, 2018
Headline: “The occupation’s escalation – a Martyr, wounded, demolitions, attacks, and arrests in Gaza and the West Bank”

“The Israeli occupation forces escalated their violations against the [Palestinian] citizens and their property yesterday [Oct. 17, 2018]. They carried out attacks against the Gaza Strip, which caused the death of a young person as a Martyr (Shahid) and the wounding of some citizens…
Israeli sources said that the attacks were carried out after a rocket fell on a home in Be’er Sheva. The UN and the European Union condemned the launching of the rockets [from Gaza], and called for ‘calm’ out of concern that a new war would break out…
Hamas condemned the launching of the rocket [from Gaza].”
Abbas eulogizes Palestinian woman allegedly killed by Israelis, saying “our people will continue to stand resolute on its land, regardless of how heavy the sacrifices may be”
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 14, 2018
Headline: "The [PA] president called the father and the husband of Martyr Aisha Al-Rabi in order to express condolences: This is a most despicable crime, and it cannot go unpunished"

"[PA] President Mahmoud Abbas called the father and the husband of Martyr (Shahida) Aisha Al-Rabi (i.e., Palestinian killed in a rock attack) last night (Saturday) [Oct. 13, 2018] in order to express condolences over her death as a Martyr.
The president emphasized that Al-Rabi is considered one of the Martyrs of the members of our people, who have sacrificed their blood for their homeland and their people. He also emphasized that this is a most despicable crime that was committed by settlers and under the auspices of the occupation state (sic., it remains unclear whether Al-Rabi was murdered by Palestinians or Israelis/Jews, see note below), and that it cannot go unpunished.
The president emphasized that our people will continue to stand resolute on its land, regardless of how heavy the sacrifices may be, and that these crimes will not exhaust our people's strength or weaken its determination to continue on the path to freedom and independence, until the establishment of the independent state with Jerusalem as its eternal capital.
Al-Rabi, from the village of Bidya west of Salfit, died as a Martyr two nights ago, after she and her husband were attacked with rocks by settlers next to the Tapuach checkpoint."

Aisha Al-Rabi – 48-year-old Palestinian woman who was killed when rocks were thrown at her car on Oct. 12, 2018, at Tapuach Junction near Nablus. Palestinians claim Israelis/Jews committed the attack, but it remains unclear whether Israelis/Jews or Palestinians threw the rocks and the matter is still under investigation as of Dec. 27, 2018.
Following the US administration cutting funding to UNRWA, Abbas emphasizes that the number of Palestinian refugees is 6.5 million, as opposed to the 40,000 the US considers refugees
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 22, 2018
Headline: "Discussing the developments in the Palestinian territories with his French counterpart in Paris – the [PA] president: We rely on the French position, we and France are proud of the speech by [France's] representative at the [UN] Security Council"

"[PA] President Mahmoud Abbas emphasized that we have not rejected negotiations as the Israelis say, and that the rejection has always been on the part of [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu.
After his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, held yesterday [Sept. 21, 2018] in the Élysée Palace in the capital, Paris, the [PA] president said to journalists… that 'The Europeans are working seriously in order to make up for what the US did regarding UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) (refers to US cutting aid to UNRWA; see note below –Ed.) – and by the way, [the Americans] said that the number of [Palestinian] refugees is 40,000, but of course we have 6.5 million refugees.'"

US President Donald Trump's administration announced on Aug. 31, 2018 that it was immediately cutting all $360 million of annual American funding to UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East). Explaining the decision, the US State Department said, "The fundamental business model and fiscal practices that have marked UNRWA for years – tied to UNRWA’s endlessly and exponentially expanding community of entitled beneficiaries – is simply unsustainable and has been in crisis mode for many years. The United States will no longer commit further funding to this irredeemably flawed operation."

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Editorial in PA daily attacking Hamas states PA transfers 4 million shekels a month to Gaza in prisoners’ salaries
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 2, 2018
Excerpt of editorial in the official PA daily

Headline: "Mahmoud Abbas 'imposes sanctions' in Gaza..."
      "What are the 'sanctions' of [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas that Hamas claims that he is imposing on Gaza… What kind of sanctions are these that give and don’t take? President Mahmoud Abbas' 'sanctions' allow a government expenditure of billions on Gaza over the last 10 years, during which money was transferred to all of the sectors of government employment and services in Gaza: to health and education, water and electricity, salaries for military and civilian state employees and to members of the [PA] Parliament (Legislative Council)… and the salaries of the prisoners in the occupation's prisons and those who are released.... salaries of the prisoners and the released [prisoners]:4,446,000 shekels a month..."

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Secretary-General of the National Committee Against Normalization praises Adidas boycott of Israel: “this was the first Palestinian success and breakthrough on the path to isolating Israel”
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 7, 2018
Headline: “Uweida praises Adidas’ decision to stop sponsoring the Israel Football Association”

“Secretary-General of the National Committee Against Normalization in Sports [and President and Head of the Board of Directors of the Palestinian Academy for Martial Arts] Jihad Uweida praised the courageous and wise decision made by the famous German company Adidas to stop sponsoring the Israel Football Association (see note below –Ed.).
Uweida emphasized that four years ago the National Committee Against Normalization and the Jerusalem Sport Federations Group already forced the company to cancel its sponsorship of an Israeli marathon that passed through the villages and streets in Jerusalem that have been under Israeli occupation since 1967… He added that this was the first Palestinian success and breakthrough on the path to isolating Israel in the field of sport.”

As of July 2018 Puma became the sponsor of the Israel Football Association, replacing Adidas whose contract expired in 2018. The BDS movement – which promotes a boycott of Israel – is claiming this as a victory, saying Adidas stopped sponsoring the team as a result of pressure from BDS. The official Adidas spokesperson has stated that this was not a politically motivated decision. It should be noted that sports teams regularly change sponsors for business reasons.

PA PM: PA will continue paying salaries of employees and utilities in Gaza
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 3, 2018
        "[PA] Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said: 'We will not bargain over our political positions and national principles for money. We are being subjected to great political pressures but we will deal with them and find solutions, and we will not surrender.'
Hamdallah added in his meeting today, Thursday [Aug. 2, 2018], in Ramallah with a selection of journalists, editors-in-chief, and writers… that 'I do not think that there is one Palestinian who can abandon Jerusalem and the refugees. We will not bargain over the basic principles for money, and they attempted to pressure us in the past but did not succeed.' […] He also added: 'We are now paying the water, electric, and sewage bills and the medical referrals in the Gaza Strip, and what is important for you to know is that we have 35,000 [public] employees in the Gaza Strip for whom we are paying 50% of their salaries, after having paid 70% in the past.'"

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Qadri Abu Bakr appointed as head of PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, replacing Issa Karake, due to internal Palestinian politics
Source: Al-Araby Al-Jadeed (UK Arab news website), Aug. 3, 2018
Headline: "A presidential decision regarding the establishment of a committee to manage the [PLO] Commission of Palestinian Prisoners' Affairs"
   "Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has decided to establish a committee headed by Maj.-Gen. Qadri Abu Bakr to manage the [PLO] Commission of Prisoners' Affairs in place of Director of the Commission Issa Karake… Maj.-Gen. Qadri Abu Bakr told [the UK Arab news website] Al-Araby Al-Jadeed: 'Indeed I have received the presidential order, and on Sunday [Aug. 5, 2018] the transfer of the role in the PLO will be carried out.' [...] According to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed’s sources, there is an inclination to merge the Commission of Prisoners' Affairs with the [PA-funded] Prisoners’ Club in the framework of one institution. These two institutions are led by two senior Fatah officials and former prisoners, Issa Karake and Qadura Fares. The sources...  added: 'Karake and Fares have been harassed since the prisoners' [hunger] strike ended this past May (sic., May 2017). Heavy pressures have been applied to the Prisoners’ Club since August 2017 on the pretext that it supported the prisoners' strike, which was led by Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti...  Former Director of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Karake yesterday (Thursday) published an article in which he hinted that the decision to fire him arises from him being accused of supporting the prisoners' strike.'"

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Announcement of various roles and positions with the PLO, with Abbas as head of the Palestinian National Fund, recognized by Israel as a terrorist organization for its payments to terrorists
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 2, 2018
Headline: “The [PLO] chairman approves the distribution of roles and departments among the [PLO] Executive Committee members”

“PLO Executive Committee Secretary, [Fatah Central Committee member, and PLO Chief Negotiator] Dr. Saeb Erekat yesterday [Aug. 1, 2018] announced that [PLO] Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has approved the distribution of roles and departments among the [PLO] Executive Committee members in the following manner:
1. Chairman Mahmoud Abbas – head of the PLO Executive Committee and the one responsible for the [Palestinian] National Fund
2. Dr. Saeb Erekat – Executive Committee secretary and head of the PLO Department of Negotiations
3. Dr. Hanan Ashrawi – head of the Department of Diplomacy and Public Policy
4. Tayseer Khaled – Executive Committee member
5. Dr. Ahmed Majdalani – head of the Department of Labor and Planning
6. Saleh Rafat – head of the Military and Security Department
7. Wasel Abu Yusuf – head of the Department of Popular Organizations
8. Azzam Al-Ahmad – head of the Department of Arab and Parliamentary Affairs
9. Dr. Ziad Abu Amr – head of the Department of International Relations
10. Bassam Al-Salehi – head of the Department of Social Affairs
11. Adnan Al-Husseini – head of the Department of Jerusalem Affairs
12. Dr. Ahmad Abu Houli – head of the Department of Refugee Affairs
13. Dr. Ali Abu Zuhri – head of the Department of Education and Teaching
14. Dr. Faisal Aranki – head of the Department of Human Resources Development
15. Ahmed Bayyoud Tamimi – head of the Department of Human Rights and Civil Society
16. The PLO Department of Expatriates’ Affairs is directly subordinate to the chairman of the PLO Executive Committee
17. The Executive Committee secretariat will monitor the files of the Martyrs (Shahids
Criticism over Abbas appointing himself head of the Palestinian National Fund
Source: Al-Araby Al-Jadeed (UK Arab news website), Aug. 1, 2018
Headline: “Criticism of how Abbas took for himself the leadership of the Palestinian National Fund”
   “Strong criticism was heard from Palestinian factions and forces following announcements by PLO Executive Committee Secretary, (Fatah Central Committee member, and PLO Chief Negotiator) Saeb Erekat on the distribution of roles and departments among members of the [PLO] Executive Committee. The most noticeable criticism was directed at the decision of the head of the organization’s Executive Committee, [PA Chairman] Mahmoud Abbas, to take for himself the position of the one responsible for the Palestinian National Fund.... Clause 13 of the PLO regulations determines that ‘All members of the Executive Committee will be selected by the [Palestinian] National Council (i.e., the legislative body of the PLO). The head of the Executive Committee will be selected by the committee. The committee will be selected from within the National Council.’ … Deputy Secretary-General of the Democratic Front [for the Liberation of Palestine] Qais Abd Al-Karim told [the UK Arab news website] Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that ‘This is the first time that the head of the PLO Executive Committee is taking for himself the role of head of the Palestinian National Fund.’ He added: ‘The National Council did not make a decision regarding the Palestinian National Fund, and neither did the [PLO] Central Council, and it is not within the authority of the Executive Committee and its chairman to determine who will be head of the National Fund.’”

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Vigil held in Nablus to protest the US administration’s cutting of funding to UNRWA
Source: WAFA, official PA news agency, July 31, 2018
Headline: “Protest vigil in Nablus over the termination of the services of hundreds of employees at UNRWA”

“Dozens of employees at UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) participated today (Tuesday) [July 31, 2018] in a protest vigil over the UNRWA management’s decision to terminate the services of hundreds of employees in the West Bank and Gaza Strip…
UNRWA Spokesman Sami Mshasha said in a phone conversation with WAFA that the number of employees in the West Bank who are affected by the agency’s decision to stop the special services is 154…
Mshasha added that the money that was allocated for the emergency budget stands at approximately $100 million, and all of it comes from the US, which has stopped all of the aid to the agency (see note below –Ed.)…
He explained that the delay in announcing the start of the school year stems from the agency not having obtained the sum that is required to open 700 schools, which provide services to 525,000 male and female students in all of UNRWA’s regions of activity, and he noted that $123 million are needed in order to start the school year.”

In early January 2018, the US froze two planned payments to UNRWA for more than $100 million, and the US administration spoke about the need to reexamine and conduct a reform of the UN body. This occurred after the PA refused to negotiate with Israel and cut diplomatic ties with America following US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital on Dec. 6, 2017.

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