The Joe Biden administration He has notified the Capitol that he is preparing to reverse one of the most controversial measures of his predecessor and resume humanitarian and economic aid to the Palestinians. In total, this year the White House will channel 235 million dollars, or 197 million euros, to the Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and Gaza and to the refugees, three years after they were annulled by Donald Trump.
Biden will allocate 150 million to the agency of the UN for Palestine Refugees in the Middle East (Unrwa, for its acronym in English) and 40 million for security reinforcement in the area, among other items. These are smaller figures than Washington donated before Trump. For example, in 2017 the US contributed only 30% of Unrwa’s budget, with about $ 360 million annually.
Already last month, Biden and his team authorized aid in the amount of 15 million dollars to the West Bank and Gaza to combat coronavirus infections. Little by little, the new White House has been designing new, rather modest financial aid programs, which it now duly reports to the Capitol.
Trump aligned the White House closely with Israel, with various decisions aimed at subtracting chunks of influence and decision from the Palestinians. The most controversial were the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state (the US embassy was transferred there from Tel Aviv) and the end of the historic aid to the Palestinians.
The previous US government presented a failed peace plan that also did not consult with the Palestinians and authorized the annexation of large parts of the West Bank to Israel. In parallel, Trump and his team negotiated Israel’s diplomatic agreements with Arab nations such as United Arab Emirates, Bahrain or MoroccoWithout counting on the Palestinians, as was the tradition until then.
The severing of ties with the Palestinian authorities was a Trump’s strategy to force them to sit down to negotiate with Israel accepting big concessions. Ultimately, there was no negotiation or surrender on the part of the Palestinians, who simply resisted Trump’s strategy. Israel continued to expand colonies in the West Bank and won Trump’s acceptance of the full annexation of the Golan Heights, which had been taken from Syria in the 1967 war.
In any case, the bulk of Trump’s policies remain, especially the location of the American embassy in Jerusalem, and Biden does not skip orthodoxy in his pronouncements on the Arab-Israeli conflict: the president supports the creation of a Palestinian state and also the right of Israel to defend its sovereignty and maintain your safety.
Also, again, Israel puts Biden to the test by authorize the construction of 540 homes in the occupied area to the Palestinians in East Jerusalem, specifically in the settlements of Beit Safafa and Sharafat, according to the newspaper ‘Haaretz’ yesterday. On a visit to Jerusalem by Biden in March 2010, when he was vice president, the Israeli government announced that it was authorizing an extension of settlements in East Jerusalem by 1,600 homes. It was a gesture of diplomatic discourtesy, and it sparked an angry outcry from US diplomacy and the White House.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism