Economic Develoment

US Secretary of State pledges $75m in US assistance to Palestinians

Ramallah: United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said for development and economic assistance Washington will seek to provide $75m to Palestinians after an 11-day Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip ravaged the blockaded territory.

Blinken made the pledge during a joint press conference with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, on the first day of his visit to the region on Tuesday.

The United States also pledged $5.5m in “immediate disaster assistance” for Gaza and about $32m for the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA).

“The United States will notify Congress of our intention to provide $75m in additional development and economic assistance to the Palestinians in 2021,” Blinken said.

Blinken said US sought to build off an initial ceasefire agreement that ended the deadly escalation of violence, which began on May 10. Israeli attacks on Gaza killed at least 248 Palestinians, including 66 children, and injured nearly 2,000 others.

“We welcome the ceasefire that continues to hold, but that’s not enough; we have to build on the ceasefire and try to move things in a genuinely positive direction,” Blinken said after his meeting with Abbas, adding his visit sought to “rebuild” relations with the Palestinian Authority.

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