Skip to content

Sen. Cruz Issues Statement On Reports Biden Admin Sought Terrorism Exemption for Palestinian Aid

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today issued the following statement after a report in the Washington Free Beacon revealed that the State Department secretly sought exemptions from U.S. anti-terrorism laws to restart aid into Palestinian-controlled territories:

“Today's report again confirms that Joe Biden and Biden administration officials are pathologically obsessed with undermining Israel. They made a day one decision to pour hundreds of millions of American taxpayer dollars into areas controlled by Palestinian terrorists, despite knowing that such actions would benefit terrorist groups that have the blood of Americans and Israelis on their hands. State Department officials knew that doing so risked violating the most basic American laws prohibiting assistance that benefits terrorists, and so they rushed to lawlessly exempt themselves from those restrictions.

“I led Republican efforts to stop such payments at the beginning of the Biden administration. Biden officials told Congress and the public that what they were doing was consistent with United States laws. It was clear at the time that they could not be telling the truth, and that their plans were brazenly inconsistent with anti-terrorism laws. Today's report confirms they knew they were lying.

“The report provides yet another example in which State Department officials told Congress that they support the U.S.-Israel relationship and are committed to countering Palestinian terrorism and then — out of view — they pushed policies designed to undermine that relationship and benefit terrorist groups. These trends have made congressional oversight and the expeditious vetting of nominees for Middle East-related positions intractable.”

In April 2021 Sen. Cruz, joined by 17 Republican Senators, sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken in response to plans by the Biden administration to restart aid into Palestinian-controlled territories. The letter called for halting those plans until "the State Department accounts for statutory restrictions and remedies known deficiencies in the distribution of such assistance, which have for years promoted and facilitated terrorism against Americans and Israelis."