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US pledges US$400M aid for Palestinians amid ceasefire calls at Jordan summit

The US pledged over US$400 million in new aid for Palestinians at a Jordan summit, urging a ceasefire in Gaza. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for increased global support, while UN and international leaders emphasized the need for humanitarian assistance.



US pledges $400M aid for Palestinians amid ceasefire calls at Jordan summit
(US Secretary of State Antony Blinken)

The United States announced on Tuesday (11 June) a commitment of over $400 million in new aid for Palestinians at an emergency summit held in Jordan.

The summit, convened by Jordan and Egypt at the Dead Sea, saw world leaders endorsing a US-led push for a ceasefire as the ultimate solution to alleviate the dire conditions in war-torn Gaza.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on a diplomatic tour of the region to advocate for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, pledged $404 million for essential supplies such as food, drinking water, and health care for Palestinians.

Blinken highlighted that a UN appeal for aid was only one-third funded, with a shortfall of $2.3 billion, and criticized countries with the means to contribute more for not doing so.

“Some who have expressed great concern over the suffering of the Palestinian people in Gaza, including countries with the capacity to give a lot, have provided very little or nothing at all,” Blinken remarked, implicitly referring to nations like China and Russia.

He called for a collective effort to increase aid and urged countries to press Hamas to accept the ceasefire proposal introduced by President Joe Biden on 31 May, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has supported.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres echoed Blinken’s call, urging an end to the violence.

“The horror must stop,” he stated, noting that the scale of destruction in Gaza was unprecedented in his tenure.

The US pledge brings its total aid contribution to $674 million since Israel commenced its military operation on October 7.

Blinken did not specify the delivery mechanisms for the new aid, but Washington has been focusing on the World Food Programme and private aid organizations.

Despite being the largest donor to the Palestinians, the United States also provides $3.8 billion in annual military aid to Israel, which has been used in the ongoing conflict.

Further complicating aid efforts, the US Congress has banned additional contributions to UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, following unsubstantiated Israeli claims that some agency employees participated in the 7 October attack.

Summit leaders defended UNRWA, with Guterres highlighting the loss of 193 agency workers in the conflict and urging global support to protect the agency.

Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob announced increased funding for UNRWA, while Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, a critic of Israel’s military actions, pledged an additional 16 million euros ($17 million) in aid.

The incoming leader of Indonesia, Prabowo Subianto, expressed readiness to send medical teams, a field hospital, a hospital ship, and to evacuate 1,000 individuals for medical treatment.

Prabowo emphasized that a two-state solution remains the ultimate resolution to the conflict.

Israel’s military offensive has resulted in the deaths of at least 37,164 people in Gaza, predominantly civilians, including many women and children.

The offensive has devastated much of Gaza, displacing nearly all of its 2.4 million residents.

Aid deliveries remain severely restricted despite significant efforts, including a specially built US pier.

The Rafah border crossing with Egypt, crucial for humanitarian aid, has been closed for over a month after Israeli troops seized control from Hamas.

The summit underscored the urgent need for international cooperation to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and to work towards a lasting peace in the region.

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Provide the arms to cause the destruction but now looking at China and Russia to pick up the bill. Israeli assets should be ceased worldwide to pay for the rebuilding of Gaza. This is in practise for the Russians so why not the same for the Israelis.