U.S. Gives Pandemic Aid to Palestinians

RAMALLAH (Reuters) -

The United States is giving $5 million to the Palestinians to help them fight the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said.

The donation follows years of aid cuts by President Donald Trump’s administration to the Palestinian Authority.

“I’m very pleased the USA is providing $5M for Palestinian hospitals and households to meet immediate, life-saving needs in combating COVID-19,” Friedman wrote on Twitter.

“The USA, as the world’s top humanitarian aid donor, is committed to assisting the Palestinian people,” he added.

The $5 million will be international disaster assistance from the U.S. Agency for International Development, according to the State Department’s website.

There was no immediate comment from the Palestinians.

The Trump administration since 2018 has cut hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinians over their promoting terrorism. The cuts have largely been seen as a bid to pressure them back to the negotiating table in peace talks with Israel.

The Palestinians have boycotted Trump’s peace efforts since 2017, accusing him of pro-Israel bias, after he declared Yerushalayim Israel’s capital and later moved the American embassy there from Tel Aviv.