Former Vice President Joe Biden’s Democratic presidential campaign is directly communicating with the Palestinian Authority, reports say.
Two anonymous sources who spoke with The Media Line claimed that a Palestinian-American businessman helped the Biden campaign establish contact with Palestinian leadership, which supports terrorists and their families with government funds.
“Having dialogue with the Democratic candidate is important to the leadership,” one of the officials said, The Media Line reported. “We want to let Mr. Biden know that we are willing and ready to talk.”
The Palestinian government has vigorously opposed President Donald Trump’s pro-Israel policies, halting all contact with the administration since 2017 after the president recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the U.S. Embassy there. Trump has ended millions of dollars of American aid to the Palestinians, shut down Palestinian diplomatic offices in Washington D.C., and pursued deals with Arab states to normalize their relations with Israel over Palestinian objections.
According to The Media Line’s sources, the Palestinians believe a Biden administration will be far more favorable to their interests.
“We are sure that if he wins, he will reassert the US position on the two-state solution and order the PLO office in Washington reopened,” the other PA official said.
Jihad Harb, a political analyst for several Palestinian media outlets, said the Palestinians are watching the U.S. election closely.
“The Palestinians have reestablished relations with an important segment of the congressional leadership in the past few years,” he told The Media line. “The Democratic Party has a majority in the House of Representatives, and there are certainly channels of communication.”
“They [Palestinian leaders] definitely want Trump to leave,” he explained. “He imposed a set of cruel, unfair and anti-Palestinian measures, and therefore they prefer Biden, at least because of their experience with him during his years as vice president in the Obama administration.”
“The Palestinians usually prefer the Democrats, and the Palestinian leadership prefers that the president be from the Democratic Party,” he added.
Recently, the Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh publicly opposed Trump’s re-election in a Facebook post decrying the current U.S. administration.
“If we are going to live another four years with President Trump, God help us… and the whole world,” Shtayyeh said, according to the Times of Israel.
“Four years have been really wasted,” Shtayyeh continued. “We were waiting for the ultimate deal and everyone was hoping that the ultimate deal would really be a deal and be ultimate. Unfortunately it has not been.”
Shtayyeh expressed hope that Biden would oust Trump from office.
“If things are going to change in the United States I think this will reflect itself directly on the Palestinian-Israeli relationship,” he said. “And it will reflect itself also on the bilateral Palestinian-American relationship.”
The Palestinian government financially supports terrorism through the Palestinian Liberation Organization and has continued to do so despite fiscal constraints, the Washington Free Beacon reported Friday.
From the Free Beacon:
Known as a policy of “pay to slay,” the Palestinian government uses money from international donors and other aid groups to financially support imprisoned terrorists and their families. The practice has long attracted international scorn and played a significant role in the Trump administration’s 2018 decision to cut nearly $200 million in U.S. funding to the Palestinian government. While the move was meant to pressure Palestinian leaders into ending the payments, the PLO has continued the practice under the radar, according to a recent report submitted by the State Department to Congress.
“Despite fiscal constraints … the [Palestinian Authority] continued to make payments through the PLO to Palestinians connected to terrorism,” according to the report. “This is despite Israel’s decision to suspend extension of sovereignty into the West Bank. The recipients of the payments included Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prison, released Palestinian terrorists, and the families of Palestinians who were wounded or died while committing terrorist acts or in connection with terrorism.”
The continuation of these payments is likely to frustrate lawmakers and U.S. diplomats who have been working to make the Palestinian government solvent and more likely to engage in peace talks with Israel. While the State Department did not say how much the Palestinian government spends on terrorists, outside groups put the number at upwards of $300 million a year. The pay-to-slay program has been a major roadblock with Israel, which moved in February to fine any banks that facilitate these payments. Palestinian leaders, however, have vowed to continue supporting terrorists.
The Biden campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Blaze.