Justice for reporter’s death - Abbas tells Biden

Palestinians deserve independent State, U.S. president

15 July, 15:44

    TEL AVIV - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday demanded that "those responsible for the death of Shireen Abu Akleh face justice" after meeting with US President Joe Biden in Bethlehem. Abu Akleh, a reporter for Al Jazeera, was killed on May 11 while she was following an operation carried out by the Israeli army at a camp in Jenin, in the northern West Bank. She was also an American citizen. "It is necessary to prevent Israel from feeling above international law", added Abbas.

    The Israeli-Palestinian dossier was at the center of talks between the Palestinian president and Biden. At the end of the meeting, Biden said Palestinians deserve an independent State, adding that his commitment for a two-State solution along the lines of 1967 remains unchanged.

    "The Palestinian people deserve a State of their own that's independent, sovereign, viable and contiguous", Biden noted, distancing himself from statements made in the past by his predecessor Donald Trump.

    Biden went on to say that he realizes the two-State objective appears remote when restrictions to movement or daily concerns "for your children's security are real and immediate". He went on to say that this visit was the beginning of a new, strengthened dialogue between the United States and Palestinians.

    The president stressed that he turned around Trump's stance on the issue, and that he decided to boost support to the economy, security and healthcare of Palestinians. He went on to announce that 200 million dollars will be devolved to UNRWA (the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) and an additional 100 million dollars for the Palestinian healthcare network of East Jerusalem. This, he continued, is the moment to strengthen Palestinian institutions. Biden said such a step requires an improvement on "transparency" and the fight against corruption by the Palestinians.

    After meeting with Abbas, Biden visited the Church of the Nativity. He is then scheduled to travel by helicopter to the Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv from where he will fly to Saudi Arabia.

    © Copyright ANSA - All rights reserved