President Obama greets Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
A White House statement calls the $400 million aid package announced Wednesday “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 commitment includes money for new schools, infrastructure and repairs throughout the Palestinian territories, but, as the Guardian points out, there’s no mention of how the U.S. plans to get banned construction materials past Israel and Egypt’s blockade of Gaza. —PZS
The money will go towards infrastructure projects in both Gaza and the West Bank, including $10m for the construction of new UN schools. It did not explain how the schools will be built while Israel maintains its embargo on construction materials entering Gaza, claiming they could be diverted to make weapons and build underground bunkers.
Earlier this week the UK government promised an extra £19m in aid. Israel today announced extra items it would allow into Gaza, including crisps, canned fruit, packaged hummus and shaving foam.