President Trump to meet with Netanyahu next week
White House announces US leader will hold discussions with prime minister during next week's UN General Assembly in New York; meeting comes in light of criticism leveled at Trump's administration following a number of unprecedented steps taken against Palestinians.
President Trump will also hold discussions with leaders of South Korea, Egypt, France, Japan and Britain.
The meeting between Trump and Netanyahu comes amid tensions between Russia and Israel over the downing of a Russian plane by the Syrian army whose air defenses were trying to repel and IAF strike.
Last month, US National Security Adviser John Bolton said in an interview with Reuters that Russia is "stuck" in Syria and looking for others to fund its post-war reconstruction, and added that attacks on Syrian territories which are attributed to Israel are conducted in “self-defense.”
The meeting comes in light of a number of unprecedented steps the Trump administration has taken against the Palestinian Authority.
Two weeks ago the administration ordered the closure of the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington, citing the refusal of Palestinian leaders to enter into peace talks with Israel, prompting the Palestinians to accuse the administration of dismantling decades of US engagement with them.
Several weeks prior, US State Department announced it will cut more than $200 million in bilateral aid to the Palestinians, following a review of the funding for projects in the West Bank and Gaza.
The department notified Congress of the decision in a brief, three-paragraph notice sent first to lawmakers and then to reporters. It said the administration will redirect the money to "high priority projects elsewhere."
"At the direction of President Trump, we have undertaken a review of US assistance to the Palestinian Authority and in the West Bank and Gaza to ensure these funds are spent in accordance with US national interests and provide value to the US taxpayer," the department said. "As a result of that review, at the direction of the president, we will redirect more than $200 million ... originally planned for programs in the West Bank and Gaza," stressed the statement.
"This decision takes into account the challenges the international community faces in providing assistance in Gaza, where Hamas control endangers the lives of Gaza's citizens and degrades an already dire humanitarian and economic situation," the notice said, without providing additional details.
The notice did not give an exact amount of the funds to be cut, but said they had been approved in 2017.
Associated Press contributed to this report.