The US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield announced on Thursday that the Biden administration will give $15 million to the Palestinian Authority as the first step in restoring financial aid to the Palestinians. The initial lump sum is intended to go towards fighting the COVID pandemic-related issues. The money will go to the Palestinian Authority, the government in Judea and Samaria, and Hamas, which runs Gaza.
“President Biden is restoring U.S. assistance programs that support economic development and humanitarian aid for the Palestinian people,” Thomas-Greenfield said speaking at a UN Security Council briefing on the situation in the Middle East.
“This urgent, necessary aid is one piece of our renewed commitment to the Palestinian people,” she added. “The aid will help Palestinians in dire need, which will bring more stability and security to both Israelis and Palestinians alike. That’s consistent with our interests and our values, and it aligns with our efforts to stamp out the pandemic and food insecurity worldwide.”
“The United States will continue to steadfastly stand by Israel, especially when it is unfairly singled out by one-sided resolutions and actions in international bodies,” she said. “The United States has recommitted to the vision of a mutually agreed two-state solution, one in which Israel lives in peace and security alongside a viable Palestinian state.”
The two-state solution calls for the creation of an Arab political entity inside Israel’s borders that is ethnically cleansed of Jews, with its capital in Jerusalem that prohibits Jewish access to the holy sites.
“We believe this vision is the best way to ensure Israel’s future as a democratic and Jewish state while upholding the Palestinian people’s legitimate aspirations for a state of their own and to live with dignity and security.”
The aid package sidesteps the Taylor Force Act passed by the US Congress in 2018 which prohibits the US government from sending aid that will directly benefit the Palestinian Authority as long as they continue sending regular stipends to Arabs convicted of acts of terrorism. The US was the largest donor nation to the Palestinians until President Trump curtailed the aid due to PA intransigence in negotiations with Israel and refusal to continue relations with the US.
The goal of restoring the aid is unclear as the Abraham Accords normalizing relations between Israel and the Arab Gulf States definitively proved that the Palestiniansare, in fact, the obstacle to peace in the region and not part of the solution.