Palestinians protested against President Biden on Friday as he met with Palestinian health workers and officials amid widespread frustration with U.S. support for Israel and the Biden administration’s policies toward Palestinians.
A protest was held in East Jerusalem, where Mr Biden toured a hospital that his administration hopes to support with new US funding. A second protest is scheduled for Friday in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, where Mr Biden will meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Other protests took place in Gaza and the West Bank on Thursday.
On the eve of the visit to Bethlehem, the Biden administration announced $100 million in new funding for several Palestinian hospitals in East Jerusalem, subject to congressional approval, and $201 million for United Nations agencies helping Palestinian refugees. It also said Israel had agreed to roll out 4G phone reception in Palestinian-controlled areas of the West Bank.
Some Palestinian officials have welcomed the funding, which they say has brought the hospital back to life. But for some Palestinian protesters, these are fragmentary gestures that do little to advance the prospect of Palestinian statehood.
“They left everything else behind,” said Suhaib Zahda, a political activist in Nablus, West Bank, “to demand 4G?”
Palestinians have long questioned Washington’s neutrality to mediate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, citing strong U.S. support for Israel at the United Nations, as well as the scale of U.S. financial and military support for Israel, the cumulative amount of U.S. aid Israel has received since the world wars more than any other country. WWII.
some Palestinians first saw Mr. Biden’s presidency is a welcome relief for the Trump administration. But many now see the Biden administration as a disappointment because it failed to reverse several Trump-era policies.
On Thursday, Mr. Biden reiterated his support for Palestinian statehood, calling for a “negotiated and lasting peace between the State of Israel and the Palestinian people” and stressing his support for a two-state solution to the conflict. His administration says it has also restored hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for Palestinian institutions that have been cut under Trump.
But it did not reopen the U.S. consulate for Palestinians in Jerusalem or the Palestinian mission in Washington, both of which were closed under Trump, after Israel objected. It also did not formally revoke the Trump administration’s legalization of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which are considered illegal by most of the world.
Mr Zaheda, a political activist from Nablus, said Mr Biden’s visit to Bethlehem was basically an empty gesture. “Palestinians see the United States as a partner in the occupation, whether through funding or political support for Israel,” said Mr. Zaheda, 39.
Palestinians Criticize the Biden Administration grown up recently In May, Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American journalist, was killed in the West Bank.A U.S. government investigation found that Ms. Abu Akleh Likely to be killed by Israeli fire, but this is “the result of a tragic situation” and not an intentional act. The U.S. State Department said Washington would not push Israel to conduct a criminal investigation of any Israeli soldiers.
The State Department said this was not done to favor Israel, but it still angered Palestinians, who believed Washington was protecting Israel from accountability.
Diyala Ayesh, a Palestinian lawyer and protest organizer in Ramallah, said many young Palestinians no longer have hope for any U.S. government.
“We obviously have no demands or expectations of him,” Ms. Aish, 26, said of Mr. Biden. “We had hoped that Abbas would reject this meeting together and save us and himself the shame.”
Another form of protest may also be featured in international news footage.
On Friday, as his motorcade drives through the West Bank, the president will pass near a large banner that reads: “Mr. President, this is apartheid.”
The term refers to the racist legal system that ruled South Africa until the early 1990s. Explosive allegations in debate over Israel’s treatment of PalestiniansA small but growing number of Israeli and international regulators accuse Israel of some form of apartheid, echoing Palestinian claims since at least the 1960s; the Israeli government denounces this as baseless slander.
The billboards were erected on Wednesday in several locations around Ramallah and Bethlehem by Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, which began applying the term to Israeli policy last year.