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President Joe Biden said Friday that the Palestinian people deserve their own state and pledged to continue working to revive the peace process between Palestinians and Israelis, although he acknowledged that the ground is not fertile now.
The U.S. president made these statements with the president of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), Mahmoud Abbas, at the presidential palace in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.
The President acknowledged that the ground is not fertile for a return to the negotiating table, but reiterated his commitment to peace between Palestinians and Israelis.
In addition, he announced an aid of $201 million for the programs that the UN agency has for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria, so that since he came to power in January 2021 the president has delivered to that agency more than 618 million dollars.
Biden said he has also been in talks with Israel to enable Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza to access 4G technology on cell phones.
Palestinian telecommunications companies have not been able to offer these services to their customers due to Israeli restrictions, although there have been attempts to renew the type of connection so that Palestinians can access the Internet at higher speeds.
Prior to the press conference, Biden and Abbas participated in a ceremony at which the U.S. and Palestinian anthems were played. They also held a bilateral meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister Mohamed Shtayeh and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, among others.
Upon his arrival at the presidential palace in Bethlehem, Biden was greeted by Abbas and two children carrying flowers.
Earlier, the US president had been at the Augusta Victoria hospital in occupied East Jerusalem, where he announced $100 million in aid for the Palestinian hospital network.