Biden transfers $15 million to Palestinians

U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield made the announcement regarding aid to the Palestinians at the U.N. Security Council’s monthly Mideast meeting.

By Associated Press

The United States said Thursday it is giving $15 million to the Palestinians toward the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield made the announcement at the U.N. Security Council’s monthly Mideast meeting, saying the money from the U.S. Agency for International Development will support Catholic Relief Services’ “COVID-19 response efforts in health care facilities” in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip.

Thomas-Greenfield said the $15 million in aid is “consistent with our interests and our values, and it aligns with our efforts to stamp our the pandemic and food insecurity worldwide.”

Tor Wennesland, the U.N. Mideast envoy, told the Security Council that “COVID-19 continues to have a devastating effect on Palestinians.”

The Palestinian regime continues to make monthly payments to terrorists, rewarding those who murder Israeli civilians with monthly stipends that violate U.S. and Israeli law.

Last Sunday, the Palestinian Health Ministry began administering the first of 61,400 doses of coronavirus vaccines it received from the U.N. World Health Organization’s COVAX initiative to provide vaccines to developing countries.

Wennesland said the U.N. and its partners will continue to support Palestinian vaccination efforts, expressed appreciation for Israel’s essential role in deliveries, and urged support for the Palestinian COVID-19 response.

U.S. envoy Thomas-Greenfield announced the $15 million contribution as Israel awaits the final results from Tuesday’s fourth parliamentary elections in two years.

The U.S. announcement Thursday also follows a virtual meeting Tuesday of the so-called Quartet of Mideast mediators – the U.S., U.N., Russia and the European Union – to discuss relaunching their long-stalled effort to get Israel and the Palestinians to resume negotiations.

There have been no substantive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians since 2014, and the two sides are fiercely divided over the core issues of the conflict.

Thomas-Greenfield made no mention of a Quartet meeting but reiterated Biden’s support for a two-state solution and said “the United States looks forward to continuing its work with Israel, the Palestinians, and the international community to achieve a long-sought peace in the Middle East.”