Egypt, Jordan hail US plan to restart aid to Palestine

By Laith Al-jnaidi and Halime Afra Aksoy

ISTANBUL (AA) – Egypt and Jordan on Thursday welcomed a US decision to restart economic, development and humanitarian assistance for Palestinians which includes funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

“The decision will contribute to alleviating the suffering of Palestinians, pave the way for providing financial support to the Palestinian people in the face of unprecedented economic and humanitarian difficulties and allow UNRWA to supply the essential needs of the Palestinian people,” the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“The financial support will help UNRWA to overcome its financial crisis and to provide its vital services," Jordan’s said in a statement. “Jordan sees the decision as a step that will have a significant and positive impact on UNRWA's capacity in addressing the education, health and humanitarian needs of Palestinian refugees.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Wednesday that the US plans to restart assistance for Palestinians, totaling $235 million.

"This includes $75 million in economic and development assistance in the West Bank and Gaza, $10 million for peacebuilding programs through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and $150 million in humanitarian assistance for the UNRWA," Blinken said in a statement.

Palestinians welcomed the move and termed it a "positive step."

In a statement to Anadolu Agency, Ahmed Majdalani, a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said: "The US declaration is a positive step that can be built upon to resume Washington's relations with the Palestinian leadership."

Former US President Donald Trump froze aid to Palestine as part of his wider push to bring Palestinians to negotiations on his proposed settlement plan to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The proposal was staunchly rejected by Palestinians who dismissed it because of the plethora of concessions it made to Israel.

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz in Ankara