The Biden administration is quietly ramping up assistance to the Palestinians after former president Donald Trump cut off nearly all aid. Since taking office with a pledge to reverse many of Trump’s Israeli-Palestinian decisions, the administration has allocated nearly $100 million for the Palestinians, only a small portion of which has been publicized.
The administration announced last Thursday it was giving $15 million to vulnerable Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. A day later, with no public announcement, it notified Congress that it will give the Palestinians $75 million for economic support, to be used in part to regain their “trust and goodwill” after the Trump-era cuts.
The State Department declined to comment on the notification and it wasn’t clear if the $75 million includes the $15 million in pandemic aid. Nevertheless, the funding plan represents a major shift in the US approach to the Palestinians after the mutual recriminations during the Trump years.