Alarm Bells Ring As Biden Restarts Aid Packages To Palestinians After Trump Suspended The Program, Tacks On $38.5 Million In Midst Of Hamas Onslaught
Joe Biden makes a move
On Sunday, Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi went all the way to Cairo to attend a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry.
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According to Ashkenazi, it was “the first normal visit of an Israeli FM in 13 years” to Egypt.
Deutsche Welle reported that they talked about “establishing a permanent cease-fire with Hamas, a mechanism for providing humanitarian aid and the reconstruction of Gaza with a pivotal role played by the international community.”
Both sides have yet to reach this ceasefire. Ashkenazi traveled to Egypt for this particular reason. Hamas is still considered an international terrorist group. It is set to be the governing power in the Gaza Strip. There is a tenuous ceasefire at the moment, but Hamas retains support from Iranians. The BBC reports that the charter “defines historic Palestine — including present-day Israel — as Islamic land and it rules out any permanent peace with the Jewish state.”
Why does Biden plan to send $188.5 million? This includes $38.5 million in new funding. The money will be used to rebuild Gaza. Senior administration officials say “there are no guarantees” the money won’t end up with terrorists.
The Times of Israel reported that Secretary of State Anthony Blinken outlined the new funding on Wednesday. The administration promised $150 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, and they will also deliver $33 million to the group.
That’s not all. About $5.5 million will go to “emergency shelter, food, relief items, and health care, as well as mental health and psychosocial support for those who experienced trauma” from the conflict, Blinken explains.
This is set to stay out of the reach of both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. It “is supposed to be the overarching governmental authority in the West Bank and Gaza.”
“… the West Bank is controlled by the horribly corrupt Fatah party; Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, currently in the 16th year of a four-year term, unsurprisingly postponed the first round of elections since 2006 in late April, according to the BBC.”
It’s all about the fact that the government is willing to pay people who are imprisoned by Israel.
The New York Times reported that the dollar amount goes up the more time you spend in jail. Is this some sort of a scholarship program for extremists? Until this program ends, we can’t give it to the Palestinian Authority.
What about UNRWA? They can’t guarantee the millions we spend won’t end up in Hamas’ hands.
“As we’ve seen in life, as we all know in life, there are no guarantees,” a senior State Department official revealed on May 24 about the chances that Hamas might snatch UNRWA money.
Let’s not forget that UNRWA allows Hamas to use its facilities. It “does business” with the Palestinian Authority, regulated by Fatah. They take international money and… And that’s it. We don’t know where the money goes.
The US aid has already reached Hamas. This is the main reason Donald Trump had to cut off funding to the Palestinians three years ago. Blinken and Biden decided to restore the aid without any preconditions.
Republicans aren’t really excited about the arrangement or the risk that the money may end up with Hamas.
“The Biden Administration has a fundamental obligation to do whatever it can to prevent American taxpayer dollars from winding up in the bank accounts of terrorists,” GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told the Washington Free Beacon.
“It is in no way acceptable for the State Department to flippantly offer that this is all a matter of fate well beyond their control,” the California Republican added.
Issa said the Biden administration won’t explain what it meant when one of the top officials claimed there were “no guarantees” the US was funding terrorists.
“This reinforces the imperative of Congress’ core oversight function, and I hope that the White House provides quick clarification and commits to redoubling all its efforts to ensure that American aid is never handed over to those who would use it to take other people’s lives,” he said.
Republican Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, who works with the House Armed Services Committee, explains that the official’s remarks were “very disturbing,” noting that administration officials have to “unequivocally tell us that American aid won’t go to terrorists.”
“The State Department needs to safeguard taxpayer dollars and make sure we’re not funding a war against Israel,” Banks said.
The Free Beacon contacted Jonathan Schanzer. He is the vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense and Democracies and was formerly employed at the Treasury Department as a terrorism finance expert. Schanzer explains that there was no way to fund rebuilding and helping Gaza without reforming UNRWA and other organizations.
“There needs to be approved aid organizations that are trusted by all sides. This probably means that new organizations should be created, with strong oversight mechanisms to prevent what has happened for more than a decade. The current channels have clearly failed,” Schanzer said.
“But the real problem is not the aid channels: The real problem here is Hamas’s control of Gaza. As long as this Iran-backed terrorist group retains its iron grip, it will be extremely difficult to help the population without inadvertently funding Hamas.”
Blinken still frames the topic as a humanitarian one.
“U.S. foreign assistance for the Palestinian people serves important U.S. interests and values,” Blinken said in a statement. “It provides critical relief to those in great need, fosters economic development, and supports Israeli-Palestinian understanding, security coordination, and stability.”
UNRWA can’t keep money away from terrorists.
A terrorist organization wanders around the Gaza Strip and this won’t change in the near future. Israeli Foreign Minister Ashkenazi dreams of a permanent ceasefire with terrorist groups.
The Jerusalem Post reports that Iran rebuilds the Hamas rocket arsenal. Hamas is “saber-rattling” with the Israeli people. Fathi Hamad, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, explained Sunday that “our factories and workshops have resumed production of thousands of missiles to stop the [attacks] of Netanyahu in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.”
Rebuilding Gaza is great, but our money may fall into the hands of terrorists who will destroy the area again.
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Source: The Western Journal