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More Aid For West Bank, Gaza


President Barack Obama and President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority talk following their statement to the press in the Oval Office, June 9, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The U.S. has committed 400 million dollars in projects to benefit people living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

When U.S. President Barack Obama and Palestinian Authority, President Mahmoud Abbas met in the White House in early June, they discussed ways and means to improve the situation in the West Bank and Gaza.

"Not only is the status quo with respect to Gaza unsustainable," said President Obama. "The status quo with respect to the Middle East is unsustainable. It is time for us to go ahead and move forward on a two-state solution that will affirm the needs of Israeli citizens and will affirm the needs of Palestinian -- Palestinians who are desperate for a homeland.

"We agree that Israelis have the right to prevent arms from entering into Gaza that can be used to launch attacks into Israeli territory," said President Obama. "But we also think that it is important for us to explore new mechanisms so that we can have goods and services, and economic development, and the ability of people to start their own businesses, and to grow the economy and provide opportunity within Gaza."

While the international community works out a new strategy to address these issues, the U.S. will move forward on 400 million dollars in projects to increase access for clean drinking water, create jobs, build schools, expand the availability of affordable housing, and address critical health and infrastructure needs -- not only in Gaza, but also in the West Bank.

The United States believes that Palestinians deserve a better life and expanded opportunities, and the chance to take part in building a viable, independent state of Palestine.

As President Obama said, "We will continue to work side by side with [the Palestinians] as well as the Israelis, to resolve this in a way that is good for the children and future generations both in Israel and in a future Palestine."

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