Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Tuesday that Washington will reopen the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem, a move that restores ties with the Palestinians which were cut by the Trump administration.
The consulate served for a long time as an autonomous office in charge of diplomatic relations with the Palestinians. But former President Donald reduced its activities and placed them under the authority of the ambassador to Israel after taking the decision to relocate the embassy to Jerusalem.
Mr. Trump’s decision sparked outrage among Palestinians, who see East Jerusalem as occupied territory and the capital of their future state.
Mr. Blinken did not give an exact date for the reopening of the consulate. The secretary of state announced the decision after a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank. The United States is trying to support Mr. Abbas in his rivalry with the Gaza-dominated militant group Hamas as well as on the international stage.
The Biden administration will ask the US Congress for $ 75 million in development and economic assistance to the Palestinians, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Tuesday, adding that Washington would continue the process of reopening the US consulate in Jerusalem.
Speaking after meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Mr Blinken said the United States would also provide $ 5.5 million in immediate aid to Gaza and $ 32 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday and then traveled to Ramallah on the occupied West Bank, where he met with Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Secretary Blinken began his visit to Jerusalem, where he held talks with Prime Minister Netanyahu.
“We know that to prevent a return of violence we must use the space created to address a larger set of issues and challenges that lie behind it. “And this begins with addressing the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza and with the start of reconstruction.” said Mr. Blinken.
The United States, he said, will work to gather international support for these efforts and make a “significant contribution.”
“We will work closely with all our partners to ensure that Hamas does not benefit from reconstruction assistance.Said Secretary Blinken.
Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking alongside a senior US diplomat, threatened a “very strong response” if Hamas resumed rocket attacks.
Mr Blinken will be in the region until Thursday and will also visit Egypt and Jordan. In coordination with his visit, Israeli authorities allowed fuel, medicine and food destined for Gaza’s private sector to enter the territory for the first time since the start of fighting on May 10./VOA