New Delhi: US President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday that his administration would provide $100 million in humanitarian assistance for the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, who have been suffering from the aftermath of the recent conflict with Israel. He said the aid would help more than 1 million people who have been displaced or affected by the violence, including meeting their emergency needs in Gaza.
Biden made the announcement during his visit to Israel, where he met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and expressed his support for Israel’s right to defend itself from the rocket attacks launched by Hamas on October 7. He also condemned Hamas for its brutality and its disregard for the lives of both Israelis and Palestinians.
Biden said the humanitarian aid for the Palestinians would come from existing funding that had already been approved by Congress. He said the aid would be delivered in coordination with the United Nations and other international partners, as well as with the Palestinian Authority and civil society groups. He warned Hamas not to interfere with or divert the aid, saying that the US would monitor its delivery and use.
Biden also said that he would soon ask Congress for an “unprecedented” amount of additional funds for Israel, to help it replenish its Iron Dome missile defense system and enhance its security capabilities. He said the US was committed to ensuring Israel’s qualitative military edge in the region and to strengthening its partnership with Israel.
Biden’s visit to Israel came amid a fragile ceasefire that ended 11 days of fighting between Israel and Hamas, which killed more than 3,000 people, mostly Palestinians. Biden said he hoped the ceasefire would hold and pave the way for a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. He said he supported a two-state solution that would allow both sides to live in dignity and security.