President Joe Biden participates in a CNN town hall at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Feb. 16, 2021. (Photo/JTA-Saul Loeb-AFP via Getty Images)
President Joe Biden participates in a CNN town hall at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Feb. 16, 2021. (Photo/JTA-Saul Loeb-AFP via Getty Images)

Biden administration formally resumes assistance to Palestinians with $15 million in Covid aid

The Biden administration formally relaunched U.S. assistance to the Palestinians with $15 million in Covid relief.

The money, which will go to nongovernmental institutions distributing medical care and food assistance in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, reverses Trump administration policies of all but cutting off aid to the Palestinians, fulfilling a pledge Joe Biden made as a presidential candidate.

By distributing the money to nongovernmental groups, the Biden administration may be able to circumvent laws that ban aid to the Palestinian Authority as long as it subsidizes the families of Palestinians who have violently attacked Israelis and Americans.

“This small step in advancing the well-being of the Palestinian people is fully in keeping with American values,” the State Department said in announcing the disbursal.

Ron Kampeas

JTA D.C. bureau chief

JTA

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