US President Donald Trump's swingeing cuts to aid for Palestinians will advance Israel's interests but risk compromising a US-led peace push and raise tensions in the Middle East, analysts and diplomats said Saturday.
The US administration announced Friday it would no longer provide any funding to the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), a week after cutting over $200 million (170 million euros) in separate aid to Palestinians.
They were the latest in a series of controversial moves by the Trump administration that have thrilled Israel's government but caused shock and dismay among international powers and Palestinians, making their dream of an independent state more distant than ever.
The cuts come as the international community seeks to reach an agreement to deliver significant humanitarian aid to the poverty-stricken Gaza Strip, where most residents rely on external handouts.
The US has long been the largest single donor to UNRWA, providing more than $350 million a year.
The agency provides support to Palestinians who fled their homes in the 1948 war surrounding the creation of Israel, as well as their descendants.
Israel and the US object to the fact that Palestinians can pass refugee status to their children, and want the number of refugees covered by UNRWA to be sharply reduced.
The Palestinians accuse the US of blatant bias and of seeking to strip them of their rights.