The U.S. government will provide $212 million in additional aid to fund relief and reconstruction efforts in Palestine after this summer's war with Israel in the Gaza Strip, the State Department said Sunday.
The money will provide humanitarian relief, repair war-damaged infrastructure, and fund and support hospitals, among other activities. The new commitment doubles the total aid that the U.S. has pledged for Palestinian relief and rebuilding efforts to $414 million total.
"This money will, we hope, help promote security and stability, and economic development, and it will provide for immediate distribution of food, medicine, and shelter materials for hundreds of thousands for the coming winter," Secretary of State John Kerry said in Cairo at a conference of Gaza donors. "And it is money that is going to help reconstruct Gaza's damaged water and sanitation system, so that Palestinians in Gaza will have access to water that they can drink and homes that they can actually start rebuilding."
The conference raised $5.4 billion in total aid for Palestine.
The two sides reached an open-ended cease-fire in late August after nearly two months of fighting and a death toll of more than 2,100 Palestinians and 73 Israelis.
Kerry urged a return to Middle East peace talks, which have stalled despite efforts by the U.S. to advance them. "The United States remains fully, totally committed to returning to the negotiations not for the sake of it, but because the goal of this conference and the future of this region demand it," he said.