Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Tuesday that the United States will reopen its consulate general in Jerusalem – a move that restores ties with Palestinians, which had been downgraded by the Trump administration.
Blinken pledged 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.
The secretary of state said the 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.
Blinken also announced the US would re-open its Consulate General in Jerusalem, which had overseen relations with the PA before it was absorbed by the relocated US embassy.
Following the meeting with Isreal Prime minister Netanyahu earlier on Tuesday, Blinken also promised the US would work to assure international aid to rebuild Gaza would not benefit Hamas, the Palestinian faction that governs the coastal territory.