The Biden administration is quietly ramping up its financial assistance to Palestinians, in the latest reversal of former President Donald Trump’s foreign policy.
The State Department, along with the US Agency for International Development, notified Congress of their intent to deliver nearly $75 million in aid to the region just one day after announcing a $15 million commitment publicly to vulnerable Palestinian groups.
The State Department declined to say whether the $15 million was included in the $75 million mentioned to Congress, or if the two were separate payments.
The funds do not require further Congressional approval, as they were largely appropriated in the 2020 fiscal year budget.
They weren’t spent prior to President Biden taking office, however, because of the Trump administration policy blocking nearly all aid to Palestinians.
Then-President Trump severed ties with the Palestinian Authority in August 2018, amid heightened tensions over the then-commander-in-chief’s decision to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The decision to block aid resulted in the Palestinians losing out on over $200 million.
The Biden administration did not go out of it’s way to publicize the payment renewals, likely an effort to not cause concern among pro-Israel Americans over his Middle East positions.
Reached for comment, State Department spokesman Ned Price reiterated the Biden administration’s support for resuming aid to the Palestinians.
“We continue to believe that American support for the Palestinian people, including financial support, it is consistent with our values. It is consistent with our interests. Of course, it is consistent with the interests of the Palestinian people,” Price told reporters.
“It’s also consistent with the interests of our partner, Israel, and we’ll have more to say on that going forward,” he continued.
While Biden may not support the Trump doctrine on all aspects of foreign policy, he has welcomed one effort by the previous president: the Abraham Accords.
The Abraham Accords were signed in September of last year, normalizing relations between Israel and two Gulf countries in a deal spearheaded by the Trump administration.
Biden pledged at the time to build on the work of his predecessor, praising the diplomatic achievements that brought together Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Israel.
With Post wires