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Trump Was Only U.S. President to Make Major Funding Cuts to Palestinians over Terror

Trump Was Only U.S. President to Make Major Funding Cuts to Palestinians over Terror


President Joe Biden offered strong support to Israel this week after massive terror attacks by the Palestinian Hamas terror group, but said nothing about following President Donald Trump’s example of withdrawing funds that may have benefited terrorism.

In fact, President Donald Trump was the first U.S. president to cut aid to the Palestinians because of concerns about subsidies that the Palestinian Authority (PA) pays to terrorists and their families — what critics have called the “pay to slay” program.

U.S. direct aid to the Palestinians dates to the 1990s, when the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), formerly considered a terror group, signed the Oslo Peace Accords with Israel. U.S. aid for the PA totaled about $5 billion from 1994 to 2018, according to the Congressional Research Service.

The U.S. also gave about $6 billion from 1950 to 2018 to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), a special agency that deals only with Palestinian “refugees,” most of whom have not been refugees for generations.

But President George W. Bush began shifting aid away from Gaza to the West Bank (known in Israel as Judea and Samaria) after Hamas won parliamentary elections, defeating the supposedly “moderate” Fatah faction (which also supports anti-Israel terror).

President Barack Obama trimmed aid to the Palestinians after the PA broke various commitments. But he gave $221 million to the Palestinians in his final hours in office. He also pledged nearly $1 billion to rebuild Gaza after Hamas triggered a 2008-9 war

No administration, until Trump, made major cuts to Palestinian aid, for fear of destabilizing the PA. But after Trump signed the Taylor Force Act in 2018, which prevents U.S. taxpayer funds from going to the PA while it still supports “pay to slay,” funds to the PA declined dramatically. Trump also cut funds to UNRWA, and publicly threatened aid to the Palestinians generally.

Trump cut half a billion dollars in aid to the Palestinians in 2018 alone, and over $100 million in funding to the UNRWA.

In 2020, Trump’s peace plan for the Middle East offered the Palestinians $50 billion if they made peace with Israel. They refused.

On Tuesday, the mother of one of the hundreds of young people killed by Hamas terrorists at a trance music festival in southern Israel spoke out against giving aid to Palestinian groups, even for humanitarian purposes. She told MSNBC (via UK Daily Mail):

‘Every dollar you give to Hamas, every dollar you put there, goes for terror. It doesn’t go to the poor Arab people that live in Gaza. They could have turned this place into paradise if they’d invest the billions they got from EU and other organizations.

‘If they invested it into the people of Gaza instead of bombs and focusing on how to get rid of as many Jews, Israeli as possible, there might have been peace. The only thing I can compare these monsters, these inhuman beings are the Nazis.

After he took office in 2021, Biden restored funding to the Palestinians wherever possible, aside from direct funding to the PA (which refused to drop the “pay to slay” policy).

A lawsuit alleges that the Biden administration knew that some of the funds could benefit the Hamas terrorist organization indirectly, by allowing Hamas to spend on preparations for war rather than on economic and social services for the Palestinian people.

Biden sent hundreds of millions of funds to Palestinian groups despite these risks.