Republican Senator Releases Remaining Palestinian Aid He Held Up For Months

By i24
Posted on 09/23/21 | News Source: i24

Biden administration notified Congress in March of $75 million in financial assistance to Palestinians

US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Jim Risch is releasing the remaining $20 million in humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians that he had been holding up since the Biden administration committed $75 million in aid last MarchThe Times of Israel reports.

A spokesperson from Risch's office said on Wednesday night that the Idaho senator had agreed to approve the remaining funds “as long as it is reprogrammed to be used for food aid, and will not be in the hands of terrorists.”

The US president notified Congress in March of the $75 million in financial assistance to the Palestinians for economic support. 

The earmark was part of the administration's effort to win back the trust of the Palestinians after former president Donald Trump, who was seen by the Palestinians as favoring Israel and who cut nearly all US aid.

Under the Taylor Force Act that became law in 2018, US economic assistance to the Palestinians must not be directed toward the Palestinian Authority or fund projects that benefit the PA as long as the government body continues its policy of financially rewarding convicted terrorists and their families via monthly cash stipends.

Risch has repeatedly expressed reservations about releasing the funds out of concern that they could be used for non-humanitarian causes.