While reaffirming his commitment to a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians Friday, President Biden announced U.S. financial aid plans for Palestine.
After meeting with Israeli leaders in Jerusalem, Biden made his way to the West Bank city of Bethlehem. There he met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian officials.
While at the presidential palace with Abbas, Biden said “My commitment to that goal of a two-state solution has not changed”.
“I do believe that in this moment when Israel is improving relations with its neighbors throughout the region, we can harness that same momentum to reinvigorate the peace process between the Palestinian people and the Israelis,” he continued.
Biden also announced his administration’s plans to implement for “economic and confidence building measures” to improve daily life for Palestinian people, reported Fox News.
The president, however, did not condemn Palestinian terrorism that has sparked violence with Israel.
Biden said aid would go toward expanding access to health care and technology for Palestinians, efforts to implement 4G networks in Gaza and the West Bank, and people-to-people peace initiatives.
“President Biden will announce $100 million in aid to Palestinian hospitals in East Jerusalem during his visit to the Middle East this week,” reported Axios.
Biden also said the U.S. would increase its contributions by $200 million to the U.N. agency, UNRWA, that supports Palestinian refugees.
Former president Donald Trump withdrew U.S. funding for the agency in 2018, which allowed the number of Palestinian refugees to grow in Israel.
Biden explained that he decided to reverse the policies of his predecessor and “resumed aid to the Palestinians…” so UNRWA “can continue its vital work of helping the most vulnerable Palestinians, especially Palestinian children”.
A multi-year contribution of $100 million will be given to a group of six Palestinian hospitals in East Jerusalem, Biden said.