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Biden reversing Trump policies, quietly increasing Palestinian aid

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The Biden administration is quietly increasing its financial aid to the Palestinians, in the latest foreign policy reversal of former President Donald Trump.

The State Department, along with the U.S. Agency for International Development, notified Congress of their intention to provide nearly $ 75 million in aid to the region just a day after publicly announcing a $ 15 million pledge. dollars for vulnerable Palestinian groups.

The State Department declined to say whether the $ 15 million was included in the $ 75 million mentioned to Congress, or whether the two were separate payments.

The funds do not require further congressional approval as they have been largely allocated in the FY2020 budget.

President Joe Biden, center, switches from Marine One aboard Air Force One, with his son Hunter Biden, left, as he carries his son Beau, Friday, March 26, 2021, at Andrews Air Force Base, in Maryland Biden is on his way to Delaware. (AP Photo / Alex Brandon)

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However, it was not spent until President Biden took office, due to the Trump administration’s policy of blocking almost all aid to the Palestinians.

Then-President Trump severed ties with the Palestinian Authority in August 2018, amid heightened tensions over the then-Commander-in-Chief’s decision to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The decision to block aid cost the Palestinians more than $ 200 million.

The Biden administration has not gone out of its way to publicize the payment renewals, possibly an effort not to worry pro-Israel Americans about its positions in the Middle East.

Contacted for comment, State Department spokesman Ned Price reiterated the Biden administrations’ support for resuming aid to the Palestinians.

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“We continue to believe that US support for the Palestinian people, including financial support, is in line with our values. It is in line with our interests. Of course, it is in line with the interests of the Palestinian people,” Price told reporters. .

“It is also in the interests of our partner, Israel, and I have much more to say about it,” he continued.

While Biden may not support the Trump doctrine on all aspects of foreign policy, he lauded an effort by the previous president: the Abraham Accords.

The Abraham Accords were signed in September last year, normalizing relations between Israel and two Gulf countries in a deal led by the Trump administration.

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Biden pledged at the time to build on the work of his predecessor, praising the diplomatic achievements that brought Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Israel together.

This story first appeared in the New York Post.

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