This year I charted the impact that Biden’s foreign aid was having on terrorist attacks on Israelis.
When Biden took office, he violated the Taylor Force Act and massively ramped up foreign aid and political support for the terrorists occupying parts of the West Bank and Gaza. And the number of deaths shot up from 3 to 17. Since then deaths from terrorist attacks have increased every year under Biden: nearly doubling by some accounts from 2021 to 2022.
As many Israelis were killed in the first two months of 2023 as in all of 2018. By April, as many Israelis had been killed as in all of 2017: the deadliest year under the Trump administration. As of now, more Israelis have been killed in 2023 than in all of 2018 and 2019 combined.
The Biden administration was not only aware of the impact that its foreign aid was having, it had been requested to offer a special license to bypass sanctions and other legal limitations on aid to terrorists.
As Adam Kredo at the Free Beacon reports, they knew that there was a high risk they were aiding Hamas.
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.
“We assess there is a high risk Hamas could potentially derive indirect, unintentional benefit from U.S. assistance to Gaza. There is less but still some risk U.S. assistance would benefit other designated groups,” the State Department wrote in a draft sanctions exemption request circulated internally in March 2021, shortly after Biden took office.
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.
The State Department claimed it needed broad authorities to conduct work in the West Bank and Gaza Strip “that would otherwise be prohibited by the Global Terrorist Sanctions Regulations and the Foreign Terrorist Organization Sanctions Regulations,” according to a draft version of the request.
The Biden administration has been casual about providing OFAC licenses leading to what is arguably the mother of all of them in Afghanistan.
The Biden administration has issued global licenses authorizing financial transactions with the Taliban and the Al Qaeda allied Haqqani Network that include, in the Treasury Department’s own words, “delivery and provision of humanitarian aid or shipments”, “administrative issues”, “donor coordination meetings”, “sharing descriptions of projects”, “coordination with regard to travel”, “participation in technical working groups” and “sharing of office space”. Not to mention the “payments of taxes, fees, or import duties to, or the purchase or receipt of permits, licenses, or public utility services from, the Taliban, the Haqqani Network.”
If Biden is going to issue licenses for Al Qaeda, why not Hamas?
Israelis are being killed by terrorists. The Biden administration was aware that there was a high risk that its aid could help terrorists. It chose to go ahead and do it anyway.