WASHINGTON—The Biden administration said on Wednesday it is restoring millions of dollars of economic and humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, reversing the Trump administration’s decision to cut the funds.
The total $235 million in assistance includes funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, or Unrwa, which assists Palestinian refugees, along with economic and humanitarian assistance.
The Trump administration had previously cut aid to the Palestinians over their refusal to enter into peace talks with the Israelis and to signal U.S. displeasure with the way that the U.N. refugee agency was run.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the aid reflected the U.S. commitment to advance prosperity and security for both Israelis and Palestinians, and a two-state solution. The move was praised by the Palestinians, and criticized by the Israelis.
The office of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed both the renewal of aid and previous statements supporting a two-state solution. The aid would fund infrastructure and basic services “for dealing with the difficult conditions that the Palestinian people are experiencing under the [Israeli] occupation and in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic,” the office said in a statement.