Senate Republicans Say Current Biden Aid To Palestinians Could Fund Terrorists

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Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden’s newly announced aid to Palestinians could fund terrorism if it is not thoroughly vetted, Senate Republicans argued to Secretary of State Tony Blinken in a Thursday letter.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz led the Republican senators in the letter, just one day after the Biden administration announced it was restarting more than $100 million in aid to Palestine that was canceled under former President Donald Trump’s administration. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) also released a report at the end of March finding that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) did not properly vet aid to Palestinians between 2015 and 2019.

“We call on you to halt these expenditures until the State Department accounts for statutory restrictions and remedies known deficiencies in the distribution of such assistance, which have for years promoted and facilitated terrorism against Americans and Israelis,” the letter, first obtained by Bloomberg, reads. (RELATED: Iran Ends Nuclear Deal Commitment, Will No Longer Limit Uranium Enrichment)

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 04: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks at a press conference on school reopening during Covid-19 at US Capitol on March 04, 2021 in Washington, DC. The House of Representatives canceled plans to vote today as a precaution after talk surfaced online of possible protest or violent unrest in Washington. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

“U.S.-funded programs have better developed the provision of public services; improved the functioning of local governance; alleviated human suffering; increased economic opportunities; and supported civil society and youth,” the statement continues.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller on how it was working to vet the newly-announced aid.

The Biden administration’s relationship with Israel has been unusually frosty, with Biden waiting longer than any recent president to call Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will travel to Israel next to meet in person with Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, however. They are expected to discuss the Israel-Palestine conflict as well as ongoing negotiations on the Iran nuclear deal.