LONDON: Presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Wednesday said if elected, he will restore US aid to Palestinians as the coronavirus pandemic has amplified demands for more support.
President Donald Trump has cut almost all US assistance to Palestinians, including $360 million in annual aid to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).
Its Washington Director Elizabeth Campbell on Tuesday said the agency only has enough funds to operate until the end of this month due to the US cuts.
During a fundraiser on Wednesday, Biden said: “Foreign assistance can be a hard sell when we’re in a deep economic hole, but it’s still less than 1 percent of the entire budget.”
He added that he was committed to resuming “the decades-long economic aid and security assistance efforts to the Palestinians,” and that if used appropriately, it would “benefit Israel too.”
Biden has stuck by Trump’s highly controversial decision to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
But Biden has also said he would launch efforts to reopen the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington, and reopen the US Consulate in East Jerusalem.
“A priority now for the cause of Israeli-Palestinian peace should be resuming our dialogue with the Palestinians and pressing Israel not to take actions that make a two-state solution impossible,” Biden told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.