Antony Blinken, U.S. State Secretary, has arrived in Jordan on the last leg of a regional visit to strengthen a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel.
According to Health Authorities, 11-days of Israeli bombing that began on 10th May killed at least 254 Palestinians, including sixty-six children, and injured over 1900 others in the coastal enclave. Including two children, twelve Israelis were killed by Hamas rockets firing and other militant groups from Gaza during the same time.
Blinken held Separate Meetings with Israeli, Palestinian and Egyptian Leaders
Mr. Blinken’s tour to Amman, where on Wednesday he met King Abdullah II, followed visits to Cairo (Egypt), where he met Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egyptian President, and Jerusalem, where he met Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and a separate meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at Ramallah.
The top American diplomat promised millions in assistance to massive rebuilding efforts in Gaza Strip that he said America would ensure wouldn’t benefit Hamas, with whom Washington DC doesn’t have a direct link and labels a terrorist organization.
He said Cairo had offered to contribute 500M dollars to reconstruct Gaza and noted Jordan’s active role in working with the PA.
Shortly after meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan, Blinken told reporters in Amman that they see the cease-fire not as an end, instead as a beginning, something to build on.
The Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, said the group welcomed Arab and international efforts to reconstruct the enclave.
Sinwar told a press conference that they would ease and facilitate the task for everyone, and they would make sure that the process would be transparent and fair, and they would make sure that no penny goes to the Izz ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades and Hamas.
After meeting el-Sisi, Antony Blinken asserted both believe strongly that Israelis and Palestinians deserve equally to live in security and safety and that Egypt is critical to these ambitions.
On Monday, Joe Biden, American President, in a call with el-Sisi, thanked Cairo for its effective diplomacy and coordination with Washington DC to achieve the cease-fire between the two sides.
Biden to notify US Congress to provide 75 million dollars in Economic Aid to Palestinians
Following Blinken’s meetings with Abbas and Netanyahu on May 25 (Tuesday), Antony Blinken called on all parties to build on the cease-fire and attempt to move things in a sincerely positive direction.
He said the Biden government would notify the United States Congress of their intention to provide 75 million dollars in additional development and economic aid to the Palestinians this year. Moreover, he promised 5.5 million dollars in direct disaster aid for Gaza Strip and about 32 million dollars for the U.N.’s agency for Palestinian refugees.
U.S. State Secretary said America would work with partners to certify that Hamas doesn’t benefit from the rebuilding assistance but didn’t offer specifics on how that would be attained or how the ongoing discord between the Fatah-led PA and Hamas would be navigated.
Antony Blinken also declared American plans to reopen its Consulate General in occupied East Jerusalem, which had overseen relations with the Palestinian Authority before former U.S. President Trump relocated the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem in 2018.
King Abdullah II of Jordan told Mr. Blinken he praised the move to the consulate reopening, state-owned media reported. The U.S. government has said it would keep the embassy in East Jerusalem.
On Tuesday, Blinken also declared that Washington DC would replenish Israel’s Iron Dome Air Defense System, as the government has frequently indicated it doesn’t intend to heed the calls of some United States lawmakers to curtail weapons sales and unconditioned military assistance to the Israeli state in the wake of the violence.