Palestinians, according to Antony Blinken, deserve “equal measures” of freedom and opportunity as Israelis.
In announcing the reopening of the American consulate in Jerusalem on Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Palestinians deserve “equal measures of protection, equality, opportunity, and dignity” as Israelis.
After meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, Blinken made the remark. Blinken traveled to the area to endorse last week’s cease-fire agreement between Israel and Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers, which brought an end to 11 days of bloodshed.
“As I told the president, I’m here to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to restoring ties with the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people, a relationship based on mutual respect and a common belief that Palestinians and Israelis alike deserve equal protection, equality, opportunity, and dignity,” Blinken said.
He also announced $40 million in aid for Palestinians and an additional $5.5 million in humanitarian aid for Gaza, following the violence that left most of the area in turmoil and killed more than 250 people, the majority of whom were Palestinians.
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The reopening of the US consulate in Jerusalem is a step toward restoring relations with Palestinians that the Trump administration had downgraded.
The consulate has long been a self-contained entity in charge of Palestinian diplomatic relations. When the US embassy was relocated to Jerusalem, former President Donald Trump downgraded its operations and put them under the authority of his ambassador to Israel.
The Palestinians, who see east Jerusalem as occupied territory and the capital of their future state, were outraged by Trump’s decision.
Blinken did not specify when the consulate would reopen.
In the aftermath of the war, he pledged to “rally international support” to assist Gaza. After the Trump administration cut off nearly all funding to the Palestinians, the latest aid takes total US assistance to the Palestinians under the Biden administration to over $360 million.
Blinken has vowed that all aid would be kept out of the hands of Hamas, which does not accept Israel’s right to exist and is considered a terrorist group by Israel and the United States.
The US is attempting to bolster Abbas in his battle against Hamas and on the international level, after he was sidelined by recent events. Abbas is the president of the Palestinian Authority, which is backed by the international community. This is a condensed version of the information.