The Biden administration has announced it will restart U.S. assistance worth $235 million to the Palestinian people, overturning a key decision made during the earlier Trump regime.
In a statement, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said $150 million would be in the form of humanitarian aid through the UN Relief and Works Agency. Another $75 million would go towards economic and development programmes in the West Bank and Gaza and $10 million would be earmarked for peace-building operations carried out by the United States Agency for International Development.
“The United States is committed to advancing prosperity, security, and freedom for both Israelis and Palestinians in tangible ways in the immediate term, which is important in its own right, but also as a means to advance towards a negotiated two-state solution,” said Blinken.
Israel was quick to register its displeasure. “Israel strongly opposes renewing funding for UNRWA, an anti-Semitic agency that incites against Israel and uses a twisted definition of who is a “refugee.” Rather than solving the conflict, UNRWA perpetuates it. Any return to funding it must be contingent on essential reforms,” tweeted Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. and UN.