Brussels, Sep 28 (AP) The European Union says it’s offering an extra 40 million euros (USD 46 million) to the UN Palestinian refugee agency to help educate children and provide health care in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Also Read - Coronavirus: Benjamin Netanyahu Tests Negative, Will Continue to Stay in Isolation

The EU move announced Friday is intended to help fill a USD 217 million budget short-fall left after the United States effectively ended its USD 350 million contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. Also Read - Coronavirus: Health Scare For Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu After Key Adviser Tests Positive

The deficit led to the elimination of 113 jobs and 584 staff positions being converted to part-time. UNWRA’s Gaza employees went on strike Monday to protest pay cuts and dismissals. Also Read - Benjamin Netanyahu, Benny Gantz Make 'Significant Progress' in Coalition Talks

The agency serves millions of Palestinians who fled or were forced from homes in the Arab-Israeli war of 1948, and their descendants.

Israel accuses UNWRA of perpetuating the refugee crisis. (AP) SMJ

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.