by WorldTribune Staff, April 1, 2021
The Biden administration has notified Congress, without a public announcement, that it will give $75 million to the Palestinian Authority for economic support, allegedly to be used in part to regain the PA’s “trust and goodwill” after Trump-era cuts.
The decision comes at the same time that Team Biden confirmed to Congress that the Palestinian Authority continues to use international aid money to reward terrorists, the major reason President Donald Trump froze U.S. aid to the PA.
A 2018 bipartisan law, the Taylor Force Act, prohibits the U.S. government from resuming Palestinian aid until the payments to terrorists are stopped.
Joe Biden’s team is apparently ignoring that law.
“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. It’s also consistent with the interests of our partner, Israel, and we’ll have more to say on that going forward,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.
In addition to paying terrorists and their families, the Biden State Department determined the Palestinian government has “not taken proactive steps to counter incitement to violence against Israel.”
The PA had been boycotting the U.S. in protest of Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the relocation of the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The Biden administration is planning to roll back many of Trump’s policies related to Israel and the PA, including the reopening of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) office in Washington, as well as the PLO consulate in Jerusalem.
A spokesman for Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz told the Washington Free Beacon that the Biden administration is currently planning to skirt American laws barring taxpayer dollars from reaching the Palestinian government.
“Congress correctly and overwhelmingly passed the Taylor Force Act to limit assistance to areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority, because the Palestinian Authority just shifts fungible resources to pay terrorists,” the spokesman said. “Sen. Cruz is concerned that in the rush to elevate the Palestinians and downgrade the U.S.-Israel relationship, the Biden administration is looking for ways to circumvent the restrictions on American taxpayer dollars going to those areas in ways that will benefit the Palestinian Authority.”
The State Department’s report highlights contradictory statements PA leader Mahmoud Abbas made throughout 2020 promising to pursue peace while also continuing terror operations against Israel. Moreover, “incitement to violence and glorification of terrorism occur in public statements and social media posts by PA officials and politicians, in official media broadcasts and social media outlets, and in school textbooks,” according to the report.
Palestinian Media Watch, an Israeli watchdog group, recently determined the Palestinian government spent around 3.2 percent of its total 2020 budget, or $155 million, on the “pay-to-slay” program which pays terrorists. Many of these payments were obscured by the PA, which funneled some $300 million to the PLO so that it could continue payment to terrorists in violation of U.S. law.