KUNM

Daniel Estrin

"Donald Trump!" said Melissa Brunner from Georgia, as she posed for a photo in front of the recently inaugurated U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.

Beckah Shae, a Nashville-based singer-songwriter popular on Christian radio, snapped selfies alongside the creamy limestone wall inscription reading: "EMBASSY/UNITED STATES OF AMERICA/JERUSALEM, ISRAEL/DONALD J. TRUMP/PRESIDENT."

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Israeli authorities are defending a recent series of interrogations of left-wing activists at Israel's airport and borders, saying the practice is necessary to prevent violence and terrorism.

But a prominent civil rights advocate in the country called the government's justification "shameful and dangerous."

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The Trump administration has confirmed it will no longer fund peace-building programs for Palestinians and Israelis — including an interfaith youth program and a project for children with disabilities.

It's the latest in a series of announcements of the U.S. cutting hundreds of millions of dollars for Palestinians, with the aim of pressuring Palestinian leaders to cooperate with U.S. efforts to broker a peace deal with Israel.

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The Trump administration announced Friday that it has cut nearly all the money the U.S. had planned to spend on aid projects for the Palestinians this year —including money to address a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

The Trump administration could be on the verge of cutting millions of dollars of aid to the Palestinians, funds that could be critical at a time when there's a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, current and former U.S. officials tell NPR.

Early this year, the United States froze most of the $251 million earmarked for Palestinian aid projects, after the Palestinian Authority protested the administration's recognition of the contested city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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Thousands of Israelis protested in Tel Aviv this evening over what they see as changes in the nature of the country's democracy.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: (Chanting in Hebrew).

Updated at 12:11 p.m. ET

The United States has long boasted of giving more money to help the Palestinian people in recent decades, in development and humanitarian aid, than any other country has.

But not this year.

The Trump administration is withholding millions of dollars in aid for the Palestinians, even money that seeks to address a deepening humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

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A short walk from the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem is a stone apartment building on a leafy street that might as well be a metaphor for Israelis' love-hate relationship with the city and its religious character.

On the ground floor, a religious Jewish Israeli man has moved in with his family. One floor up, a secular Jewish Israeli woman has moved out.

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This was the day the U.S. opened an embassy in Jerusalem, an endorsement of the Israeli view that the contested city is Israel's capital. The American delegation included President Trump's daughter and senior adviser Ivanka.

When the U.S. opens its new embassy in Jerusalem on Monday and endorses the city as the capital of Israel, it will also be endorsing a strange reality. About 38 percent of the city's residents are not Israeli at all. They are Palestinian. And they want to establish their own capital in the city.

Israel refuses. Instead, Israel has reshaped Jerusalem in a way that leaves many Palestinians struggling to maintain their foothold in the city that is their home.

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He served behind bars in Israel for two decades. He was a shadowy figure in the military wing of the Islamist group Hamas.

Now Yehiyeh Sinwar is head of the group's Gaza branch. He spoke with members of the international press corps for the first time on Thursday.

"I usually don't talk to the media," he said.

Who Stole The Torahs?

Apr 29, 2018

Before dawn on March 21, 1995, someone broke into a synagogue in the Palestinian city of Nablus.

Updated at 4:10 p.m. on Friday

Days after Israeli troops fatally shot a Palestinian photojournalist covering protests on the Gaza border, Israel's defense minister alleged the photographer had served as a high-ranking member of the military wing of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas since 2011.

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While Palestinian protesters burned tires and Israeli soldiers shot volleys of tear gas on the Gaza-Israel border Wednesday, a bearded young man in a blue tweed jacket sat in a nearby barley field with a chessboard, mulling strategy.

He and a friend were practicing checkmate maneuvers. But as Palestinians gear up for another Friday of large and potentially bloody demonstrations on the Gaza border, they were also considering bigger questions of strategy: What are Palestinians trying to achieve?

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On Friday, Palestinians in Gaza held their biggest demonstration against Israel in years.

On Saturday, a war of incrimination erupted about what exactly had happened.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians rallied at the Gaza border, demanding to return to lands in what is today Israel. In clashes, 15 demonstrators were killed by Israeli fire, and one was killed by tank fire before demonstrations began when Israel said he approached the border fence.

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