BETHLEHEM, Friday, July 15, 2022 (WAFA) – US President Joseph Biden affirmed during a meeting today with President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem his commitment to a two-state solution on the 1967 lines, and the importance of direct negotiations leading to an independent, sovereign, viable, and contiguous Palestinian state alongside Israel.
Speaking during a meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas at the presidential headquarters in Bethlehem, south of the West Bank, Biden also underscored the importance of having two states, Palestine and Israel, enjoying secure and recognized borders, allowing the two peoples to live side-by-side in peace and security.
President Biden highlighted a number of initiatives the United States is undertaking to support the Palestinian people, and discussed encouraging regional governments and the international community to assist the Palestinian people.
Biden also reaffirmed the enduring ties between the Palestinian and American peoples and underscored his commitment to a two-state solution on the 1967 lines with land swaps mutually agreed by the Palestinians and Israelis.
The US President emphasized his belief that the Palestinian people deserve to live lives of dignity and opportunity; to move and travel freely; to feel secure in their communities; and to give hope to their children that they will one day enjoy the same freedom and self-determination of their neighbors.
Biden further reiterated the importance of fostering a political horizon, and noted the United States stands ready to work with Palestinians, Israelis and regional stakeholders toward that goal. President Biden said that in order to create the conditions for negotiations, it was important for all parties to avoid unilateral measures.
President Biden reaffirmed the need to preserve the historic status quo at the holy sites in Jerusalem, recognizing the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan’s crucial role as custodian.
Here are the initiatives announced by US President Biden:-
Improving access to healthcare for Palestinians
During his visit to Augusta Victoria Hospital in occupied Jerusalem, Biden announced his plan to make a new, multi-year US contribution of up to $100 million to the East Jerusalem Hospital Network which provides specialized services including oncology, dialysis, neonatal intensive care, maternity and ophthalmology services, and specialized emergency services.
Promoting the digital economy to improve Palestinian economic growth
To boost Palestinian businesses and improve connectivity for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, Biden affirmed his commitment to accelerate the long-overdue transition from 3G to 4G in the West Bank, and from 2G to 4G in Gaza by the end of 2023.
Improving the travel experience from the West Bank to Jordan
President Biden underscored the need for a more independent, efficient and reliable experience for Palestinians in their travel abroad, including allowing Palestinians 24/7 access to the Allenby Bridge by September 30, 2022.
Boosting critical services for Palestinian refugees
President Biden announced an additional $201 million for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to continue providing vital services to Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
Re-launching Israeli-Palestinian economic discussions
President Biden announced that Israel intends to convene the Joint Economic Committee with the Palestinians. Under the Oslo Accords, the Committee is in charge of discussing the common economic issues between the Palestinians and Israelis. It last met in 2009.
Ensuring food security for Palestinians
President Biden announced that the United States has allocated $15 million in new food security assistance to the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.