The Biden Administration silently gave Palestine millions in financial aid, reversing Trump-era policies, according to the Associated Press (AP).
The administration announced on March 25 they would give $15 million to Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza for pandemic purposes, according to ABC News.
The administration then alerted Congress on Friday that it would give Palestinians $75 million for economic support to be used to restore their “trust and goodwill” after Trump cut aid, according to the AP.
“Given the absence of USAID activity in recent years, engaging civil society actors will be critical to regaining trust and goodwill with Palestinian society,” the notification sent to Congress said, according to the AP. (RELATED: Group Designated As A Terror Organization In Israel Is Active In The US)
It’s unclear whether the $75 million included the $15 million in pandemic aid, according to the report.
“We continue believe that American support for the Palestinian people, including financial support, it is consistent with our values. It is consistent with our interests,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters, according to the AP. “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.”
The funds are reportedly to be used for short-term projects that will help rebuild the U.S.-Palestinian relationship. Some funds will reportedly go toward job training for Palestinian youth, loans and grants for small businesses and infrastructure.
The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report shortly after the Biden Administration reportedly told Congress about the $75 million that found USAID had not properly vetted its Palestinian recipients for antiterrorism criteria as required by law.
The U.S. cannot provide aid to the Palestinian Authority or send funds if the Palestinian Authority pays stipends to the perpetrators and families of those who have been convicted of carrying out anti-Israel or U.S. attacks, according to the GAO.
The study reviewed aid given to Palestinians between 2015-2019, during which Trump cut most of the aid. Trump cut more than $200 million in aid meant for the West Bank and Gaza in 2018, according to Reuters. The State Department pointed to Hamas’ control of Gaza as one of the reasons it would not send funds, according to the report. The Trump Administration confirmed in 2019 it would cut all aid to Palestine in the West Bank and Gaza, according to BBC.
Biden’s aid is not anticipated to be given to the Palestinian Authority, according to the AP.
The Daily Caller has reached out to the State Department but did not receive a response at the time of publication.