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U.S. official denies that funds for Palestinian refugees frozen

From Reuters - January 5, 2018

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has frozen $125 million in funding for a U.N. agency that provides aid to Palestinian refugees, Axios news site reported on Friday, but a State Department official said no decision had been made on the payment.

Days after President Donald Trump threatened to withhold future aid payments to Palestinians, Axios said the funding was frozen until the U.S. government finishes its review of aid to the Palestinian Authority.

The sum, a third of the annual U.S. donation to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, was supposed to be delivered by Jan. 1, Axios said, citing three unidentified Western diplomats.

The State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: That (Axios) story is very misleading. Just because they were expecting the money on the first, and they did not get it at that time, does not mean it was suspended or canceled. Deliberations are ongoing, and we have until mid-January to make a final decision.

Asked if any preliminary decision had been made, the official replied: No. And reports to that effect are false.

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