Biden Budget Restores Aid to Palestinians, Halted by Trump over Terror

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President Joe Biden’s massive $6 trillion budget proposal for the 2022 fiscal year includes hundreds of millions of dollars in restored aid to the Palestinians, some of which President Donald Trump had suspended over concerns about Palestinian support for terror. In a statement Friday, the State Department noted: The budget request funds assistance programs and humanitarian aid for Palestinians, including support for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The United States will maintain steadfast support for Israel as the Administration renews relations with Palestinian leadership, restores economic and humanitarian assistance for Palestinians, and works to advance freedom, prosperity, and security for the Israeli and Palestinian people alike.

The precise amount of funding was unclear, but Secretary of State Tony Blinken said last week in a visit to the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership in Ramallah that the U.S. is in the process of sending $360 million in aid to the Palestinians. Trump had cut aid to UNRWA over concerns that it fosters anti-Israel propaganda, and had also cut U.S. funding to the PA because of its “pay to slay” policy of giving stipends to Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jail or to the families of dead terrorists. The latter funding is prohibited by U.S. law under the Taylor Force Act of 2018; the Times of Israel reports that the PA may try to adjust its program of terrorist stipends so it does not conflict with the U.S. law, though it is not clear exactly how. The funding to UNRWA is under executive discretion and Biden had promised to restore it before the recent war broke out.

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