The Biden administration has been quietly ramping up financial aid to the Palestinians, in the latest reversal of former President Donald Trump’s foreign policy.
The State Department, along with the U.S. Agency for International Development, notified Congress of their intention to provide nearly $ 75 million in aid to the region just one day after they publicly announced a $ 15 million commitment to vulnerable Palestinian groups.
The State Department refused to disclose 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 have been largely allocated in the fiscal year 2020 budget.
However, it was not spent before President Biden took office, due to the Trump administration’s policy of withholding almost all aid to the Palestinians.
President Trump cut 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 withhold aid resulted in the Palestinians losing more than $ 200 million.
The Biden administration did not make every effort to announce the renewal of the payments, most likely an attempt not to cause concern among pro-Israel Americans about his positions in the Middle East.
For a comment, State Department spokesman Ned Price confirmed the Biden administration’s support for the resumption of aid to the Palestinians.
“We still believe that American support for the Palestinian people, including financial support, is consistent with our values. It is in line with our interests. And of course it is in line with the interests of the Palestinian people,” Price told reporters.
He continued, “It also accords with the interests of our partner, Israel, and we will have more to say about that in the future.”
While Biden may not support the Trump doctrine in all aspects of foreign policy, he has welcomed one effort from the former president: the Abraham Accords.
The Abraham Accords were signed in September last year, to normalize relations between Israel and two Gulf states in a deal led by the Trump administration.
Biden pledged at the time To build to work From his predecessor, praising the diplomatic achievements that brought together Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Israel.
This story first appeared in the New York Post.