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Biden administration mulls aid for Palestinians in US seeking family reunion amid conflict

The Biden administration is considering measures to aid Palestinians in the US seeking to reunite with family from war-torn regions. Discussions coincide with Israel’s planned military operation in Gaza, amid concerns about escalating violence and potential displacement.



Biden administration mulls aid for Palestinians in US seeking family reunion amid conflict

UNITED STATES: The Biden administration is currently considering measures to assist Palestinians residing in the United States who are seeking to reunite with family members from the conflict-torn region.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced on Wednesday (1 May) that they are actively evaluating policy proposals aimed at providing further support to Palestinians who are relatives of American citizens and express a desire to immigrate to the United States.

However, specific details regarding the procedures for such measures were not disclosed during the announcement.

These potential initiatives are intended to aid individuals who hold legal permanent residency or U.S. citizenship and have family ties in the troubled region.

The ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict has exacerbated the plight of Palestinians, with more than 34,500 casualties reported by local health authorities, a significant proportion of whom are children and women.

Over 77,700 people have also been wounded amid mass destruction and severe shortages of necessities.

The situation in the Gaza Strip remains dire, making it challenging for residents to flee the violence.

Meanwhile, discussions surrounding these measures coincide with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s insistence on pursuing a major military operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

Despite warnings from the Biden administration about the catastrophic consequences of such actions, Netanyahu remains steadfast in his stance.

The prolonged conflict has led to an estimated 1.5 million individuals, comprising over half of Gaza’s population, seeking refuge in Rafah as the violence persists unabated.

Should the United States decide to implement measures to assist families of Palestinians in Gaza, it is likely that coordination with Egypt will be necessary.

During the initial stages of the conflict, hundreds of Americans, alongside other foreign nationals trapped in Gaza, were able to evacuate through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, albeit with some apprehension.

Egypt and other Arab nations are concerned that an escalation of Israeli military operations could result in the displacement of Palestinians into Sinai, a scenario they vehemently oppose.

In a separate development, the Biden administration has already taken steps to provide temporary relief to Palestinians residing in the United States.

Last month, President Biden signed a directive enabling what is known as “deferred enforced departure,” granting Palestinian immigrants a reprieve from deportation for a minimum of 18 months, a decision made at the president’s discretion.

Furthermore, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has expressed concerns about Israel’s intentions following the conclusion of the Gaza conflict.

Abbas voiced fears that Israel may seek to deport Palestinians from the occupied West Bank to Jordan once the conflict in Gaza is resolved.

He called for international recognition of Palestine as a full member state of the United Nations and urged European nations to acknowledge the State of Palestine similarly.

However, recent efforts at the United Nations to advance Palestinian statehood faced obstacles when a draft resolution recommending the admission of the State of Palestine for UN membership was vetoed by the US, with abstentions from the UK and Switzerland.

Recent news reports have indicated that Israeli officials are increasingly concerned that the International Criminal Court (ICC) might soon issue arrest warrants against high-ranking government members, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

These concerns stem from actions related to Israel’s conflict with Hamas, as detailed by several anonymous Israeli and foreign officials.

The ICC’s scrutiny reportedly extends to both Israeli officials and Hamas leaders. If the ICC proceeds with issuing warrants, the officials involved will face significant travel restrictions and diplomatic challenges, including further isolation from the global community, though an actual trial or arrest may not be immediate.

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