California GOP Rep. Michelle Steel Launches Bill to Halt U.S. Humanitarian Aid to Palestinians

New Bill to Stop U.S. Aid for Palestinians

California GOP Representative Michelle Steel has introduced a new bill that seeks to terminate all U.S. aid to the Palestinian territory.

The bill’s conditions hinge on the Palestinian Authority renouncing Hamas and acknowledging Israel’s existence.

Change in U.S. Aid Policy

The U.S. currently allocates hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid for the Palestinian people.

This policy marks a shift from the approach taken by former President Trump, who discontinued Palestinian aid.

Rep. Michelle Steel’s Stance

In a statement, Rep. Steel emphasized the common-sense nature of her proposal. She asserted that not a single taxpayer dollar from the U.S. should be sent to the Palestinian Authority, which she characterized as corrupt and linked to violence.

Her stance is motivated by the desire to prevent such events from occurring again.

Conditions for Aid

Under the proposed bill, the Palestinian Authority would need to fulfill specific conditions to receive aid.

These conditions include recognizing Israel as a sovereign Jewish state, excluding Hamas from any government positions, and unequivocally condemning terrorism.

Details of U.S. Aid

Between April 2021 and March 2022, the U.S. provided substantial financial support to Palestinian refugees through the United Nations, as well as economic aid via USAID and funds for Covid and Gaza recovery.

For 2022, a significant amount was earmarked to support the rule of law in Gaza.

Legal Challenge and Allegations

Simultaneously, a federal judge has initiated the discovery period for a lawsuit alleging that President Biden’s administration is funneling taxpayer funds to the Palestinian territory in violation of a law prohibiting support for terrorist organizations.

Ongoing Conflict and Geopolitical Shifts

The timing of these developments coincides with an outbreak of hostilities following a series of attacks by Hamas on Israel, leading to casualties on both sides.

Additionally, the Israeli government has ordered evacuations in northern Gaza as the conflict persists.

Shift in U.S.-Qatar Relations

The U.S. and Qatar have decided to freeze $6 billion in Iranian assets, reversing previous plans to unfreeze these funds as part of a prisoner exchange.

There are allegations suggesting Iranian involvement in aiding Hamas, which has been using sophisticated tactics in its attacks.

Warning to Iran

President Biden issued a public warning to Iran, signaling a shift in the U.S. stance in the wake of the Hamas attack on Israel.

This development has introduced a new layer of complexity to the geopolitical dynamics in the region.

Secretary of State’s Defense

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, during a visit to Israel, defended the original prisoner swap arrangement that involved the transfer of Iranian funds to Qatar.

He emphasized that these funds had not been accessed by Iran.

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