The United States announced Thursday that it was giving $15 million in humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
“The US Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing these funds to address the most urgent, life-saving humanitarian needs in the West Bank and Gaza,” the State Department said.
Thursday’s announcement was another step taken by the Biden administration to reverse Trump-era policies on Palestinians. Former President Donald Trump halted US aid for the UN agency that helps Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), closed the Palestinian Liberation Organization office in Washington and moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Biden pledged to restore aid to Palestinians as one of the steps he would take to help.
“With this assistance, USAID is supporting Catholic Relief Services’ COVID-19 response efforts in health care facilities and affected communities throughout the West Bank and Gaza,” the State Department said Thursday. “This assistance is also supporting emergency food assistance programming in communities facing food insecurity, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This small step in advancing the well-being of the Palestinian people is fully in keeping with American values,” the statement read.
Earlier in the day, US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said the aid would bring more stability and security to “both Israelis and Palestinians alike.”
This is part of renewed efforts to resume stalled peace talks between Ramallah and Tel Aviv. On Tuesday, a meeting was held between officials from the UN, US, Russia and Europe to reactivate diplomacy in an effort for a two-state solution.
Biden has repeatedly said he supports a two-state solution to end the decadeslong Arab-Israeli conflict.