People familiar with the matter said that US President Biden plans to allocate approximately US$150 million to the Palestinians to restore some of the aid cancelled by former President Donald Trump.
The aid will be provided mainly through the United Nations aid agency UNWRA, and is expected to be released on Wednesday as part of repairing the damaged relationship between the United States and the Palestinians during Trump’s tenure.
Democratic President Biden has made it clear that he intends to change the policies of his Republican predecessors, and the Palestinians claim that the policies of the Republican predecessors are largely biased towards Israel.
The new government had previously promised to continue to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in economic and humanitarian assistance, and worked hard to restart the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington.
Biden’s aides also made it clear that they hope to re-establish the goal of a negotiated settlement between the two countries and make it a priority of the US policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But so far, they have taken cautious action. After the uncertain elections in Israel in March and the Palestinian elections announced in the next few months, all major steps may be awaited.
After the Trump administration severed ties with the Palestinian Authority in 2018, it blocked almost all aid. This move was seen as an attempt to force Palestinians to negotiate with Israel, based on the Palestinian leadership marking it as an attempt to deny a viable state. This includes the removal of funding support for the United Nations Labor and Aid Agency (UNWRA), which also provides assistance to approximately 5.7 million registered Palestine refugees throughout the Middle East.
The source told Reuters that the new funds are expected to be mainly used for UNRWA, and the government is unlikely to continue to provide direct economic assistance to the Palestinian Authority. The money that will be provided to UNRWA will not immediately return the donation to the level of US$365 million provided by the United States to the agency in 2017.