President Biden in January began reengaging with the Palestinians, even while they expressed pride in the “quality operation” during the Munich Olympics in which terrorists killed 11 Israeli athletes.
Now Biden is working on restoring the cash flow from American taxpayers despite a federal law banning payments to the Palestinian Authority while it pays salaries to convicted terrorists.
The Associated Press reported Biden is “quietly ramping up aid to Palestinians,” reversing President Trump’s Middle East policy of bypassing the recalcitrant Palestinians to make peace agreements between four Muslim nations and Israel.
Biden has pledged some $100 million to the Palestinians while announcing only a $15 million grant to help communities fight COVID-19.
“With no public announcement,” officials notified Congress of the higher amount in an effort to “regain” the “trust and goodwill” of Palestinians, the report said.
State Department spokesman Ned Price confirmed to AP the intent is to provide “financial support” because it’s consistent with America’s “interests.”
The report said Trump’s approach “alienated” the Palestinians and “made prospects for peace less likely.
However, Trump was nominated for the Nobel Peace prize after working directly with other Arab countries.
The administration brokered four peace agreements between Israel and Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently indicated another four agreements are in the works.
He did not name the nations but also “did not dispel rumors” about deals with Niger, Mauritania, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.
WND reported in September the editor of a Saudi Arabian newspaper said peace agreements with Israel are the only option for Arab nations that have opposed Israel for generations.
Khalid bin Hamad Al-Malik, the editor of Al-Jazirah, wrote two days before the Israel-UAE-Bahrain peace deals that the Arabs “tried war and were defeated; they tried hostility towards Israel and gained nothing; they tried to reconcile [with Israel] on their own terms and failed.”
A Free Beacon report said Israel is “inching toward normalizing relations with Saudi Arabia.”
“Normalization with gulf countries has already borne significant fruit for Israel,” the Free Beacon said. “Tourism and trade continues to grow apace between Israel and the UAE, with some even remarking that they feel safer wearing traditional Jewish clothing in Dubai than in France now.”
Trump’s realignment of Middle East relations was praised by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger as “brilliant.” He unsuccessfully urged the Biden administration to stay the course that produced the agreements called the Abraham Accords..
The AP report said Biden believes the new assistance will encourage the Palestinians to return to negotiations with Israel, “though there is no indication it will have that effect.”
Further, the report said, the Government Accountability Office documented that U.S. Agency for International Development failed to properly investigate all of the money going to the Palestinians.
The Taylor Force Act prevents the U.S. from sending money to the Palestinian Authority – or its interests – as long as it pays salaries to jailed terrorists or the families of dead terrorists.
The GAO found that money from the U.S. between 2015 and 2019 could have gone to sub-groups that benefited the PA, even though it was not allowed. Trump discontinued most aid in 2019.
The GAO said, “If funding resumes, we recommend measures to improve compliance.”
The Taylor Force Act is named after an American who was murdered in Israel in 2016 by a Palestinian terrorist.
He was visiting Israel as part of a university study group.
Another 11 were injured in the stabbing attack, and because the killer died, his relatives are being paid a monthly pension that is estimated to be much higher than the average monthly Palestinian wage.
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