The Biden administration has faced strong criticism and scrutiny in recent days over its decision to unfreeze $6 billion for Iran, a well-known financial and strategic supporter of anti-Israel terrorist organizations such as Hamas. White House aides have been busily working to dispel any perceived misinformation and rumors surrounding the decision.
According to a recent report from the Associated Press, Republican critics have pointed out that the Biden administration's reversal of a Trump-era ban on aid to the Palestinians could have potentially helped fund the latest Hamas operation. However, administration officials have strongly rejected these claims, stating that their efforts to provide aid to Palestinian civilians in Gaza and other areas do not involve any money that could be used or diverted by Hamas.
Yet, this claim has been refuted by internal documents obtained by The Washington Free Beacon and reported on by journalist Adam Kredo. These documents reveal that the Biden administration was well aware of and acknowledged the "high risk" that Hamas could benefit from the aid sent to Gaza. Despite these risks, the administration pressed forward in its plans to distribute hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded aid to areas controlled by Hamas.
The documents, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by watchdog group Protect the Public's Trust, show that the State Department was seeking an exemption from laws that prohibit the U.S. government from providing aid to territories controlled by designated terrorist groups. In a draft sanctions exemption request circulated internally in March 2021, the State Department stated that their assessment showed a possible risk of Hamas deriving "indirect, unintentional benefit" from the aid.
Biden officials made a Day 1 decision to pour millions of dollars into Hamas areas. Yesteday they told the AP they didn't think it would help Hamas terrorism.
They are flat out lying.
— Omri Ceren (@omriceren) October 8, 2023
Despite these concerns, the Biden administration deemed it in the national security interest to provide this assistance in the West Bank and Gaza to advance its foreign policy objectives. The internal documents also reveal that the State Department was urgently seeking the exemption in order to push forward with its plan to resume funding to the Palestinian government. This decision was made despite not specifying which programs or activities would be funded and the acknowledged "high risk" involved.
Unfortunately, these fears of unintentionally benefiting terrorists were realized as Hamas terrorists carried out the deadliest attack against Jewish people since the Holocaust. This has further fueled criticism of the Biden administration's decision and calls for greater transparency and accountability in providing aid to areas controlled by designated terrorist groups.
In light of these revelations, the Biden administration's attempts to downplay any connection between the aid and the recent violence are highly questionable. As the investigation into the attack continues, it remains to be seen how the administration will address these concerns and ensure that future aid does not end up in the hands of terrorist groups like Hamas.