Biden touts restored funding for Palestinian Authority ahead of Israel trip

U.S. president touts funding of Palestinian Authority, vows to put human rights on agenda during upcoming visit to Israel.

By World Israel News

President Joe Biden touted his administration’s record on Israel and the Palestinian Authority over the weekend, ahead of his upcoming Middle East trip.

On Saturday, The Washington Post published an opinion piece penned by the president justifying his plans to visit Saudi Arabia this week, after visiting Israel.

Biden vowed to keep “human rights” and “fundamental freedoms” on his agenda during the trip – including during his visit to Israel.

“My views on human rights are clear and long-standing, and fundamental freedoms are always on the agenda when I travel abroad, as they will be during this trip, just as they will be in Israel and the West Bank.”

The president took credit for ending the conflict between Israel and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip last May, though the ceasefire agreement ending Operation Guardian of the Walls was brokered by Egypt.

“In Israel, we helped end a war in Gaza — which could easily have lasted months — in just 11 days. We’ve worked with Israel, Egypt, Qatar and Jordan to maintain the peace without permitting terrorists to rearm.”

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Biden noted that his administration restored foreign aid payments to the Palestinian Authority, after the Trump administration halted the payments in 2018, citing the Taylor Force Act passed by Congress a year earlier.

U.S. funding for the PA was frozen over Ramallah’s “pay-for-slay” policy, under which stipends are offered to jailed terrorists and the families of terrorists killed during attacks on Israelis.

“We also rebuilt U.S. ties with the Palestinians,” Biden wrote. “Working with Congress, my administration restored approximately $500 million in support for Palestinians, while also passing the largest support package for Israel — over $4 billion — in history. And this week, an Israeli prime minister spoke with the president of the Palestinian Authority for the first time in five years.”

Biden went on to express hope for an expansion of the Abraham Accords, calling his direct flight from Israel to Saudi Arabia a sign of “budding relations” between the two countries.

“On Friday, I will also be the first president to fly from Israel to Jiddah, Saudi Arabia. That travel will also be a small symbol of the budding relations and steps toward normalization between Israel and the Arab world, which my administration is working to deepen and expand.”