Netanyahu cancels Colombia trip, citing Gaza situation

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Aug 02, 2018, 03:30 PM IST

File photo: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photograph:(Reuters)

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that he will be canceling his trip to Colombia due the ongoing situation in the Gaza Strip. 

Netanyahu was to visit the country next week from August 6-9. 

Tensions are rising in the Gaza Strip after a United Nations-led support agency for Palestinian refugees was forced to cut hundreds of employees following the US government's decision to slash funding for the agency's budget.

The cuts came after US President Donald Trump decided to dramatically reduce funding by hundreds of millions of dollars. The move comes at a critical time for Palestinian refugees in Gaza, where political and economic sanctions have contributed to unemployment rates reaching 60 per cent, and the area suffers power outages which can last for 18 hours a day.

Moreover, a man and 14-year-old boy were killed and dozens wounded by Israeli army fire on Friday (July 27), bringing to 154 the Palestinian death toll since demonstrations launched on March 30 to demand rights to land lost to Israel in the 1948 war of its founding.

The Israeli military said troops opened fire to hold off thousands of Palestinians, some of whom threw rocks and rolled burning tires at the border fence in attempts to sabotage it.