Biden Admin Raised Concerns Palestinian Aid Would Boost Hamas. It Went Ahead With Aid Anyway.
- August 16, 2023
The Biden administration pushed through plans to distribute hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer aid to the Palestinians despite internal assessments that those plans could boost the Iran-backed terrorist group Hamas, according to internal documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
State Department officials in 2021 outlined the concerns in private communications, asking the Treasury Department to exempt them from laws that bar the U.S. government from injecting taxpayer aid into territories controlled by Palestinian terror groups. The Biden administration needed this authorization in order to move forward with its plans to unfreeze more than $360 million in U.S. funds for the Palestinian Authority that were cut off during the Trump administration due to the authority’s support for terrorists.
The documents—obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the watchdog group Protect the Public’s Trust—show the Biden administration was privately worried its efforts to restart Palestinian aid could benefit Hamas and other terror factions operating in the Gaza Strip. As officials publicly provided assurances to Congress and the press that this aid would be doled out “consistent with U.S. law,” the State Department was scrambling to secure a sanctions exemption that would let it skirt anti-terrorism laws.
Michael Chamberlain, director of Protect the Public’s Trust, which sued the administration for stonewalling its FOIA request, said the latest cache of internal State Department documents indicate the administration was aware its funding efforts could violate the law.