The United States will reopen its Palestinian diplomatic mission in Jerusalem to restore ties with Palestinians, Secretary of State Anton Blinken announced on May 25.
“The United States will be moving forward with the process to reopen our consulate in Jerusalem. That’s an important way for our country to engage with and provide support to the Palestinian people,” Blinken said in a press conference after meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah in occupied West Bank.
Diplomatic relations with Palestinians had previously been downgraded by the administration of former President Donald Trump, who placed operations of the consulate under the authority of his ambassador to Israel after he moved the embassy to Jerusalem — a move that angered Palestinians who view east Jerusalem as occupied territory and seek it as the capital of their future state.
Blinken did not provide a specific date for the reopening.
Blinken also said that the administration of President Joe Biden will notify Congress of its intention to provide $75 million in aid for Palestinians this year.
The Biden administration will also provide $5.5 million in immediate disaster assistance for Gaza and about $32 million for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees’ humanitarian appeal, according to Blinken.
“In total, we are in the process of providing more than $360 million of urgent support for the Palestinian people,” Blinken said.
According to Blinken, the U.S. will also “rally the international community” to provide 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Palestinians.
Blinken’s visit to Ramallah is part of his official trip to the Middle East to support the ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas.
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