Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Cairo, Egypt, July 21-22, 2014 to meet with Egyptian and other senior officials on the situation in Gaza. The United States -- and our international partners -- are deeply concerned about the risk of further escalation and the loss of more innocent life. We believe there should be a cease-fire as soon as possible -- one that restores the cease-fire reached in November of 2012.
On July 21, Secretary Kerry announced that the United States is providing $47 million to help address the humanitarian situation in Gaza. These funds will provide critical humanitarian aid, including shelter, food, and medical supplies to Palestinians in Gaza. This assistance includes:
- An initial $15 million contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in response to UNRWA’s $60 million Gaza Flash Appeal;
- $3.5 million in emergency relief assistance from USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA);
- $10 million in existing USAID bilateral funding, redirected to meet immediate humanitarian needs; and
- $18.5 million in new USAID bilateral funding for humanitarian and emergency relief assistance.
The United States remains committed to addressing the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people, and will continue to monitor the humanitarian situation closely.
Secretary Kerry then traveled to Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Tel Aviv on July 23, before returning to Cairo on July 24 to continue meetings on the situation. On July 25, Secretary Kerry traveled to Paris, France, where he met with his counterparts from France, Germany, Italy, Qatar, Turkey, and the United Kingdom to discuss Gaza. In Paris, Secretary Kerry said:
"...I want anybody who cares about the Palestinian side of these issues to listen, and I want everybody in Israel to understand: we clearly understand -- I understand that Palestinians need to live with dignity...with goods that can come in and out, and they need a life that is free from the current restraints that they feel on a daily basis, and obviously free from violence. But at the same time, Israelis need to live free from rockets and from tunnels that threaten them, and every conversation we’ve had embraces a discussion about these competing interests that are real for both. And so we need to have a solution that works at this.