Biden Proposes Funding for Ethnic Cleansing From Gaza, State Dept. Refuses to Comment
From Tuesday at the State Department:
PATEL: Sam, you’ve had your hand up patiently. Go ahead.
HUSSEINI: Thank you. The group Democracy for the Arab World Now, founded by slain journalist [Jamal] Khashoggi, put out a recent statement charging that there’s a “grotesque hoax” by the Biden administration not just greenlighting but “bankrolling” ethnic cleansing. They specifically cite parts of the supplemental that the administration has sought that fund the proposed humanitarian aid to Palestinians who have been displaced from Gaza into neighboring countries, and they also highlight the fact that the Israeli Government appears imminently planning a permanent move of Palestinians permanently from Gaza to Egypt, and they cite a leaked Israeli intelligence ministry report along those lines.
PATEL: So —
HUSSEINI: What do you have on that?
MR PATEL: I —
QUESTION: I realize that earlier in your comments you seemed to distance yourself from this notion. You said that it was Palestinian land and that you are opposed to this, or that was the implication of your remarks. However, there – there it is; you’re asking for the money to do it.
PATEL: So let me just be clear about a — a couple things here, Sam. First, we continue to provide support to Palestinian refugees through the UN, through UNRWA, and the U.S. is going to also continue to support efforts for safe passage for civilians in Gaza seeking safety. As it relates to our foreign policy, the U.S. does not support any forced relocation of Palestinians outside of Gaza. It is not a policy we are pursuing. It is not something that is on the table.
HUSSEINI: So why are you asking for funding for it?
PATEL: I don’t – I don’t understand your question.
HUSSEINI: This group, Democracy for the Arab World Now, founded by Khashoggi, says that you’re asking for funding for new Palestinians – not just displaced from ’48, not just displaced from ’67, but displaced from this conflict from Gaza into Egypt and other neighboring countries. I think it’s an open secret that Israel has been attempting to —
PATEL: So we are – we are not engaging in any situation in which Egyptian land would be leased. I’ve not seen that letter nor am I going to get into the specifics of the funding request to Congress from up here. But forced relocation is not – is not something that we are looking at —
HUSSEINI: Okay —
PATEL: — or is on the table or a policy that we support.
PATEL: Doc, go ahead.
HUSSEINI: —I’m sorry, I’m asking you about your funding package —
HARPER: Yes, Vedant? Thank you, excuse me, Vedant. Thank you. How long of a pause in the ceasefire does the State Department and President Biden have in mind for Israel? And a brief follow-up. …
See news release summarizing DAWN report and other reporting forming the basis for my questioning: “In ‘Grotesque Hoax’ Biden Admin Not Just ‘Green Lighting’ Israeli Ethnic Cleansing — ‘It’s Bankrolling It’.”
See DAWN report: “U.S. Should Push Israel to End War Crimes, Accept Ceasefire” which quotes the White House proposal:
These resources would support displaced and conflict affected civilians, including Palestinian refugees in Gaza and the West Bank, and to [sic] address potential needs of Gazans fleeing to neighboring countries. This would include food and nonfood items, healthcare, emergency shelter support, water and sanitation assistance, and emergency protection. This would also include potential critical humanitarian infrastructure costs needed for the refugee population to provide access to basic, life-sustaining support. This crisis could well result in displacement across [the] border and higher regional humanitarian needs, and funding may be used to meet evolving programming requirements outside of Gaza.
See full briefing video and transcript according to the State Department.