Palestine welcomes resumption of US aid

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Palestine on Friday welcomed Washington’s announcement that it will resume providing aid to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh described the US move as “an important step in the right direction” towards restructuring the US-Palestine relations.

The aid was halted during the administration of former US President Donald Trump “due to his stances on the Palestinian issue” which, he said in a statement, were “contrary to international legitimacy decisions.”

On Thursday, the US announced it will provide humanitarian aid to the poorest Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip for the first time since it was cut under the Trump administration.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Washington’s ambassador to the UN, said Thursday that the US is concerned that the coronavirus pandemic has put a strain on the economic and humanitarian needs of Palestinians.

Stressing that US President Joe Biden is restoring assistance programs for economic development and humanitarian aid for Palestinians, she said the US announced $15 million in humanitarian support to the most vulnerable communities in the West Bank and Gaza.

Under Trump, the US gradually cut off financial aid that had been earmarked for Palestinians in the US budget for decades, including stopping funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), and cutting financial aid allocated to the Palestinian Authority.