Israeli media: Biden quietly gave Palestine $75 million…

The Times of Israel reports that Biden quietly gave $75 million to the Palestinians to help regain “trust” in the wake of Trump.

After announcing $15 million in aid to combat the COVID (Chinese Communist Virus) epidemic, the State Department notified Congress of further funding for the Palestinians in an announcement that was not publicly announced.

On the 31st of last month, the Times of Israel reported, citing the Associated Press, that the Biden administration was quietly ramping up aid to the Palestinians after former U.S. President Donald Trump cut off nearly all aid.

Since taking office, the Biden administration has promised to reverse many of Trump’s Israeli-Palestinian decisions and allocate about $100 million to the Palestinians, only a small portion of which has been announced.

Earlier, the Biden administration announced that it would provide $15 million to vulnerable Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza to help fight the COVID-19 (Chinese Communist virus) pandemic. A day later, without a public announcement, it informed Congress that it would provide $75 million in economic support to the Palestinians, in part to regain their “trust and friendship” after Trump-era cuts.

The State Department declined to comment on the notification, and it is unclear whether the $75 million includes $15 million in pandemic aid. However, the funding plan represents a major shift in U.S. attitudes toward the Palestinians after the mutual recriminations of the Trump administration.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of a March 26 congressional notice from the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) just hours before (31st) the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report finding that USAID did not properly vet all Palestinian funding recipients for U.S. counterterrorism standards, as required by law.

Under U.S. law, the United States is prohibited from providing assistance to or funding projects that benefit the Palestinian Authority as long as the PA pays stipends to criminals and families convicted of anti-Israel or U.S. attacks. This is one reason why the Trump administration cut off aid.

The GAO’s findings are based on a review of aid provided to Palestinians between 2015 and 2019, when Trump cut off most aid. While USAID complied with the law in terms of the people and groups it directly funded, it did not do the same for subgrantees, who then distributed taxpayer money to those subgrantees.

“If funding is restored, we recommend steps to improve compliance,” the GAO report said, which was released late Monday.

According to USAID’s congressional notice, the funds have either been restored or will be restored soon because much of the $75 million is for urgent, short-term projects aimed at quickly rebuilding U.S.-Pakistani relations, which have fallen to their lowest point during the Trump administration. The money could begin to be spent on April 10, the notice said.

Under Trump, the U.S. has provided unprecedented support to Israel, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv and severing ties with and cutting financial aid to the Palestinians.

Shortly after Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20, his administration announced that it would restore relations with the Palestinians and renew aid as a key element in supporting a two-state solution to the conflict.