- The Washington Times - Friday, July 15, 2022

President Biden on Friday announced $100 million in U.S. assistance for East Jerusalem hospitals that treat Palestinians, as his administration moves to restore much of the aid for Palestinians that former President Trump had ended.

Speaking at August Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem, Mr. Biden said that Palestinians and Israelis “deserve equal measure of freedom, security, prosperity, and dignity,” adding that “access to health care when you need it is essential to living a life of dignity for all of us.”

“The U.S. will continue to work with Palestinian leadership and the government of Israel and all our international partners to ensure that East Jerusalem’s hospital network remains sustainable and available, and is able to provide high-quality health care the Palestinian people deserve,” Mr. Biden said.

“These hospitals are the backbone of the Palestinian health care system,” he said.

The August Victoria Hospital provides advanced medical care, including treatment for cancer patients and pediatric kidney dialysis to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.

It is operated by the Lutheran World Federation and was in severe debt at the end of 2021, according to a letter the hospital sent to U.S. lawmakers in May. Much of that debt is because the Palestinian Authority has struggled financially.

SEE ALSO: Biden walks a two-state tightrope in a joint address with Palestinian Authority President Abbas

The aid must still be approved by the U.S. Congress and will be paid out over several years, the White House said. It is on top of an extra $201 million the United Nations provides to Palestinian refugees.

In 2018, Mr. Trump slashed $25 million in aid that the U.S. was providing to hospitals that were treating Palestinians. It was part of his decision to suspend much of the overall aid the U.S. doled out to Palestine. 

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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