GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian children are starting their school year in the Gaza Strip amid a major budget crunch for the United Nations agency that funds many of the schools.

The new year opened Wednesday as the U.N. refugee agency, or UNRWA, warns its available funds will dry up by the end of September.

About 280,000 Gaza children receive primary education by UNRWA. Nearly 100,000 attend government schools.

UNRWA's largest donor, the United States, slashed $300 million from its annual contribution in January. Trump's administration said the move aimed to pressure the agency to make "fundamental reforms."

UNRWA was established after Israel's 1948 War of Independence to aid some 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were forced from their homes.

Israel argues the agency perpetuates the refugee crisis.