by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Tuesday that he will ask Congress for $75 million in aid to the Palestinians for 2021, the Jerusalem Post reports. Making his announcement after a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, Blinken added that the US will also reopen its consulate in Jerusalem.
The US is set to send $5.5 in emergency disaster relief for the Gaza Strip and $32 million for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), the Jerusalem Post said. “This new assistance comes on top of significant support that the United States has recently committed and resumed to the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinians and different agencies and groups,” Blinken told reporters on Tuesday.
“In total, we are in the process of providing more than $360 million in urgent support for the Palestinians. We will work with our partners to ensure that Hamas does not benefit the reconstruction efforts [in the Gaza Strip],” Blinken added.
Announcing the reopening of the US consulate in Jerusalem, Blinken said: “This is an important way for our country to engage with and provide support for the Palestinian people.” The consulate had previously worked with Palestinians directly, but had been merged into the US Embassy by the Trump administration.
Blinken also said the US will “firmly oppose” the unilateral activities of both Israelis and Palestinians that result in violence or damage the prospects of a “just and durable resolution of the conflict, which eventually requires two states.” Blinken particularly cited “[Palestinian house] demolitions, annexation of territory, incitement of violence, and compensation for individuals imprisoned for acts of terrorism,” the Jerusalem Post reports.
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