October 16, 2023

USA: Biden Restarted Aid To Palestinian Authority In 2021 Reversing A Trump-Era Decision To Freeze The Aid As Part Of His Middle East Peace Policy Push. Biden Gave Hamas $1.3 BILLION Since 2021.

OpenTheBooks published October 13, 2023: The National Desk: U.S.-Palestinian Aid in the Spotlight as Israel-Hamas War Intensifies. U.S.-Palestinian aid over the last seven decades has cost taxpayers around $8 billion and at times has come as fighting with Israel has intensified.

The National Desk
written by Staff
Friday October 13, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. aid to Palestine over the last seven decades has cost taxpayers around $8 billion and at times has come as fighting with Israel has intensified.

President Joe Biden’s administration restarted aid to Palestine in 2021, reversing a Trump-era decision to freeze the aid as part of its pro-Israel policy push in the Middle East.

Open the Books CEO Adam AndrzejewskI joined The National Desk to break it down.

“Trump put the money on the table he said if the elements in Gaza in the West Bank — that's Hamas, the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the Palestinian Authority — if they're not interested in peace, I'm going to put the money on the table. I'm going to freeze it,” Andrzejewski said.

Biden reversed that decision in 2021, sending $10 million in May to support cross-border projects between Israel and the West Bank and Gaza. That decision came as fighting was intensifying between Hamas and Israel. Overall, the Biden administration has supplied about $1.3 billion in aid since reversing the Trump cutoff.

With fighting again intensifying after the terrorist attack led to a formal declaration of war, there are some calls to once again suspend aid to Palestine.

“It's interesting the PLO believes that they have a right under international law to U.S. taxpayer support,” Andrzejewski said. “At this point, every dime has to be on the table for inspection and audit.”
C-Span published September 21, 2021: Biden said: Palestinian state 'best way' to resolve conflict with Israel.

United States President Joe Biden tells world leaders at the UN General Assembly that a sovereign and democratic Palestinian state is the "best way" to ensure Israel's future. "I continue to believe that a two-state solution is the best way to ensure Israel's future as a Jewish democratic state, living in peace alongside a viable, sovereign and democratic Palestinian state," he says. 
Global News published July 15, 2022: Biden advocates for two-state solution to Israel-Palestinian conflict, Abbas says time running out.

U.S. President Joe Biden renewed his call for a two-state solution to end the decades-long conflict between Israel and Palestinians, though he offered no new proposals to restart political dialogue as he met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday.

However, Biden’s call for a two-state solution came as Abbas suggested time for such a solution may be running out. “The opportunity for a two-state solution on the 1967 borders may be available today, and it may not remain for a long time,” Abbas said.

Biden acknowledged that after years of failed attempts to resolve the conflict, Palestinians living under onerous restrictions in the occupied West Bank and Gaza are suffering.

👇🚨 FLASHBACK TO 2021 🚨👇

New York Post
written by Editorial
July 24, 2021

The Palestinian Authority is proud to fund its terrorists, and President Joe Biden is proud to fund the Palestinian Authority by end-running the Taylor Force Act.

Named for an American killed in a 2016 terror attack in Tel Aviv, the bipartisan law (a vote of 256-167 in the House and 65-32 in the Senate) denies taxpayer funding to the PA until it stops paying hefty stipends to imprisoned or released terrorists and the families of deceased terrorists — whom the PA deems “martyrs.”

The PA spends more than $350 million a year on these “Pay for Slay” rewards, vs. just $220 million for all its other welfare programs combined. Since independent activists have recently made it near-impossible to use normal banks for the checks, it just created a new ATM-card system specifically to keep the funds flowing to some 12,200 terrorists and their survivors.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration is in the process of sending $360 million in aid to the Palestinians, arguing that the law doesn’t apply since the humanitarian funds flow via third parties — mainly UNRWA, the UN agency for the Palestinian areas.

And never mind that UNRWA routinely acts more as an arm of the Palestinian authorities than as anything independent. Indeed, US officials admit they can’t even ensure the funds don’t wind up in the hands of Hamas, the proudly terrorist group that controls the Gaza Strip.

Biden is also reopening the (Trump-closed) PA/PLO office in Washington, which directly administers the pay-to-slay program.

All this is supposedly in pursuit of peace, though the last administration’s policies brought more Israeli-Arab rapprochement than the “peace processors” had achieved in decades. Then again, the Biden team is quietly undermining those Abraham Accords.

Until the rulers of the Palestinian Authority stop moving heaven and earth to keep rewarding terrorists who slaughter civilians, they are no kind of “partner for peace” and shouldn’t get a dime of US taxpayers’ money.

France24 News
written by AFP Staff
April 7, 2021 (NOTE from me: Biden took office January 20, 2021)

US President Joe Biden on Wednesday restored aid to the Palestinians to a tune of $235 million, upsetting ally Israel, as he promised to press for a two-state solution.

In his sharpest break yet on the conflict from the staunchly pro-Israel Donald Trump, Biden said the United States would resume funding for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees that his predecessor had severed.

The State Department said the United States would contribute $150 million to the UN agency and also offer $75 million in economic and development assistance for the West Bank and Gaza as well as $10 million for peacebuilding efforts.

In a call with Jordan's King Abdullah II, a longstanding US ally who recently faced down dissent within the royal family, Biden "affirmed that the United States supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," a White House statement said.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the US assistance to the Palestinians "serves important US interests and values" as "a means to advance towards a negotiated two-state solution."

"It provides critical relief to those in great need, fosters economic development and supports Israeli-Palestinian understanding, security coordination and stability," Blinken said in a statement.

Israel, which has held off on criticism of Biden, denounced the assistance to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, or UNRWA.

"We believe that this U.N. agency for so-called 'refugees' should not exist in its current format," said Gilad Erdan, the Israeli ambassador to the United States.

Israel argues that the education provided by the UN-backed schools includes incitement against the Jewish state.

"I have expressed my disappointment and objection to the decision to renew UNRWA's funding without first ensuring that certain reforms, including stopping the incitement and removing anti-Semitic content from its educational curriculum, are carried out," Erdan said.

The Israeli anger comes as the United States takes part in indirect, European-led talks in Vienna with Iran on returning to a denuclearization deal which was bitterly opposed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

- 'Right signal' -

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the world body would "very much welcome" the restored US assistance.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Washington's renewed support for UNRWA "sends the right signal."

"Since the challenges have only become greater in a time of corona, the announcement by the US government comes at the right time for those affected in the region," Maas said in a statement.

The new funding is in addition to $15 million earlier announced by the United States in Covid assistance to the Palestinians amid criticism that Israel, a leader in vaccinating its own people, has not taken similar initiatives in territories under its occupation.

Israel argues that vaccination is the responsibility of the Palestinian Authority.

UNRWA once counted on the United States as its top donor but has been facing a shortfall since Trump withdrew funds from 2018 on the argument that the refugees, some in camps for generations, should be resettled.

The agency said its needs have been rising due to Covid and the hardships faced by Palestinians living in war-battered Syria, troubled Lebanon and Jordan.

UNRWA said that it entered 2021 with liabilities of $75 million from the last financial year and that its annual deficit was expected to reach $200 million in the current year.

The Biden administration has been gradually restoring relations and support for the Palestinians.

Shortly after Biden's inauguration in January, the United States said it would restore the Palestine Liberation Organization's liaison office that was shut down by Trump.

But Biden has held off on any major peace initiative, with even supports of a two-state solution expecting near-term chances for a breakthrough to be slim, especially amid turbulence in Israel following its latest election.

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