The United States government has cut off funds to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organisation (UNESCO), following the agency's admission of Palestine as a full member.

Washington's decision to withold $60m in funding, which is about one-quarter of UNESCO's annual budget, came after 107 out of 173 countries voted in favor of the Palestinian bid for statehood.

Although UNESCO's membership marks a small victory for Palestinian officials, it could help them protect more than 20 monumental Palestinian cultural and religious sites.

The US also condemned UNESCO's move, saying that it "undermines" the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians.

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