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Christian Today: "Withdrawal of aid funding 'punishing' children in West Bank - BibleLands"

Lara Freedman, director of policy and government relations with Americans for Peace Now, blamed strong pro-Israel lobbying by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and American Jewish and right-wing Christian communities.

"The narrative that says that 'the Palestinians' decision to go to the UN is a form of diplomatic terrorism that cannot go unpunished' has firmly taken root," she said.

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Children are being hard hit by the withdrawal of USAID to programmes in the West Bank, BibleLands has warned.

The charity said USAID had cut funds unilaterally and "without warning" to several independent Palestinian Christian NGOs.

Although USAID denies that its budget has been frozen, Biblelands is concerned about the unexpected withdrawal of funds to two charities this month.

The Princess Basma Centre for Disabled Children on the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem, learned earlier in the month that USAID funding totalling $100,000 for its rehabilitation programme would not be disbursed as promised.

Also this month, funding was withdrawn from a psycho-social intervention programme for vulnerable and disadvantaged children run by the Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation.

Lara Freedman, director of policy and government relations with Americans for Peace Now, blamed strong pro-Israel lobbying by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and American Jewish and right-wing Christian communities.

"The narrative that says that 'the Palestinians' decision to go to the UN is a form of diplomatic terrorism that cannot go unpunished' has firmly taken root," she said.

Jeremy Moodey, chief executive of BibleLands, said it was a "scandal" that USAID funding had been withdrawn from projects for disabled children.

He said children in the West Bank were being "punished" because of Palestine's request for UN recognition of the Palestinian state.

"These are vital projects helping some of the most vulnerable children, and other NGOs including BibleLands, were willing to provide funding but stepped back when USAID grants were secured," he said.

"US lawmakers should perhaps take a look at their own Eighth Amendment, which guarantees proportionality between punishment and crime.

"This appears to have been ignored when it comes to disabled children in Ramallah and Nablus."

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/withdrawal.of.aid.funding.punishing.children.in.west.bank.biblelands/28831.htm