White House Announces $400 Million in Gaza Aid



By: DAN VERBIN  
Published: June 9th 2010
in News » World

Gaza City
Pic: file photo

President Barack Obama announced on Wednesday that the American government will commit to $400 million in aid to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The announcement comes after a tense 10 day period of international attention on Gaza, which has been under an Israeli blockade since 2007.

 

The money was announced during a meeting in Washington DC between Obama and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who was visiting to give his take on the progress of indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as the current situation in Gaza.

 

The majority of current US aid is allocated for the West Bank. This is primarily due to the international community’s attempts in the last few years to strengthen the stature of Abbas, seen as a moderate, in the West Bank. Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since it violently took over the territory in 2007, is widely considered a terrorist organization by Canada, the US, the European Union and others.

 

During the meeting, Obama described the situation in Gaza as “unsustainable”. He called for a new approach and an alternate “conceptual framework” for Israel’s blockade.

 

In a statement, the White House said that the new aid money “represents a down payment on the United States' commitment to Palestinians in Gaza, who deserve a better life and expanded opportunities, and the chance to take part in building a viable, independent state of Palestine, together with those who live in the West Bank".

 

The funds will be put toward infrastructure in Gaza and the West Bank. There will also be $10 million for the building of new UN schools. Israel currently has an embargo on construction supplies entering Gaza, maintaining that such material could be used by Hamas for weapons and the construction of underground tunnels and bunkers. The White House did not elaborate on how the material will be transferred into Gaza.

 

Earlier in the week, the UK government announced an additional £19 million in aid to the Palestinians.



Related articles: (gaza, embargo, blockage, abbas, hamas, aid, uk government)




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