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Friday, February 23, 2024

Israel supports including Gaza into US’s aid package with ‘specific’ conditions

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 Israel has supported US President Joe Biden’s inclusion of humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip in the $106 billion support security package for Israel and Ukraine presented in October, but the assistance package should meet “specific” criteria, The Times of Israel newspaper reported, citing sources.

A senior Israeli official has told the newspaper that the Jewish country expects the Gaza aid to be differentiated between short-term and emergency assistance that should be coordinated with Israel. The package will possibly include funding for rebuilding the Gaza Strip after the conflict, the report said.

The aid may also involve funds for the reinforcement of Egypt’s border with the Gaza Strip to ensure that the enclave is not re-militarized in a “post-Hamas Gaza,” the report also said.

This is reportedly the first time Israel voiced its stance toward the possibility of including Gaza into Washington’s assistance package.

In late October, the Biden administration submitted to Congress a $106 billion request to provide assistance to Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and some other countries. The amount includes, in particular, around $61.4 billion for Ukraine and another $14.3 billion for Israel. The US House of Representatives is expected to consider a standalone emergency aid package for Israel valued at $14.3 billion, following House Republicans’ decision to split the assistance from a larger supplemental funding request by the Biden administration.

The White House said Biden would veto the standalone aid package. The proposal turns Israel into a “pawn” of US domestic politics, the White House said, adding that the legislation would send a “terrible message” to Russia by excluding Ukraine aid.

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