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US Congressman Gregory Meeks pledges to resume aid to Palestinians

US Congressman Gregory Meeks, the new Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has said he was looking forward to resuming humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, as part of a push by President-elect Joe Biden for a two-state solution.

Speaking to the Agence France-Presse on Tuesday, Meeks said he supports the return of the Palestinian diplomatic representation to the United States after the administration of outgoing President Donald Trump closed the PLO office in Washington.

“I’m a firm believer in the two-state solution, providing both parties with self-determination… So we may need to restart the US assistance to Palestinian people, demonstrating that the United States is ready to lead again,” said Meeks.

“We may therefore need to mobilize US aid to the Palestinians to show that the United States is ready to take over the leadership again,” he added.

In 2018, the Trump administration canceled more than $200 million in aid intended for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Trump administration also stopped the US contribution to financing the budget of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), and canceled aid worth $25 million for Palestinian hospitals in occupied East Jerusalem.

Trump provided unswerving support to the Israeli occupation, violating the international consensus, and in 2017 recognized both parts of Occupied Jerusalem as its capital. This position led the Palestinian Authority to cut off all contacts with the US administration, and the United States responded by closing the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington.