24 State AGs Urge Congress to Permanently Cut Funding to UN Agency Over Alleged Hamas Ties

Aldgra Fredly
By Aldgra Fredly
May 10, 2024US News
24 State AGs Urge Congress to Permanently Cut Funding to UN Agency Over Alleged Hamas Ties
A truck marked with United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) logo crosses into Egypt from Gaza at the Rafah border crossing during a temporary truce between Hamas and Israel, on Nov. 27, 2023. (Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters)

A coalition of 24 state attorneys general has called on U.S. Congress to permanently cut all funding to a United Nations agency in Gaza over its alleged ties to the Hamas terrorist group.

The coalition, led by attorneys general from South Carolina and Iowa, sent a letter to Congress on May 7, urging the United States to stop funding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

In the letter, they urged lawmakers to take action to ensure that Washington ceases “funding anti-Semitic education efforts run by the United Nations body tied to terror organization Hamas.”

“Not one more dollar should go to fund this organization so long as it is committed to spreading anti-Semitism, much less an organization 10 percent of which had links to foreign terror organization Hamas,” the letter reads.

“Radicalization in the Middle East today can lead to future attacks on the United States, our citizens, and our allies,” it added.

Former President Donald Trump suspended funding for the agency in 2018 after assessing that its operations were “irredeemably flawed.” The funding was resumed after President Joe Biden took office in 2021.

The Biden administration halted funding for UNRWA in January after allegations that 12 of its staff members were involved in Hamas’s Oct. 7, 2023, terrorist attack on Israel. The coalition suggested making this permanent until “UNRWA engages in serious and clear reform.”

“While UNRWA has fired many employees for participating in the October 7 Hamas-led massacre, even the UN agrees there is more work to be done,” they stated.

“The United States contributes even more to UNRWA than does Europe, and thus we must stop our culpability at once,” the coalition added.

The coalition also includes attorney generals from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

UNRWA’s Alleged Ties to Hamas

South Carolina’s attorney general, Alan Wilson, said that nearly 300,000 children in Gaza have been “indoctrinated by antisemitic teachers with textbooks and education that even the European Parliament have warned promote violence and antisemitism.”

He claimed that UNRWA concealed a Hamas command center beneath its headquarters and stored hidden weapons in UNRWA schools.

“The U.S. should not be funding terrorism. Period. We’ve known UNRWA is used by terrorists and has helped facilitate terror attacks for decades,” Mr. Wilson said in a statement.

“The UN’s own investigation confirms what we’ve been raising the alarm about for months. It’s time to permanently cut funding for UNRWA, and we need to do it before they receive another dime,” he added.

UNRWA has stated on its website that it has not received “any evidence” from the Israeli authorities or any other member state that 10 percent of its staff in Gaza have ties to Hamas.

The Epoch Times reached out to UNRWA for comment but did not receive a response by publication time.

NTD Photo
Israeli soldiers use a camera to inspect what the military described as a Hamas command tunnel running partly under UNRWA headquarters in the Gaza Strip on Feb. 8, 2024. (Dylan Martinez/Reuters)

Meanwhile, House Republicans sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Feb. 16 demanding information related to the Biden administration’s 2021 decision to renew funding for the UN body.

The House Oversight and Accountability Committee stated in the letter that suspicions about UNRWA staff’s ties to Hamas have lingered for years, citing the 2017 firing of the head of UNRWA’s union over his role in Hamas’s leadership.

Israeli intelligence estimates that nearly half of all UNRWA staff members have close relatives with ties to militant groups, and about 10 percent of UNRWA staff members have ties to Hamas, according to the letter.

“Hundreds of examples of the agency’s staff participating in racist, violent, and extremist dialogue have been found since 2015,” the Republican lawmakers stated.

“All of these allegations, many of which predate the October 7, 2023, terrorist attacks, call into question whether the Biden administration adequately reviewed its decision to renew funding to UNRWA.”

UNRWA has 13,000 staff in Gaza, almost all of them Palestinians, ranging from teachers in schools that the agency runs, to doctors, medical staff, and aid workers.

Its area of operations includes the Gaza Strip, where Israel has been carrying out a military campaign to neutralize the Hamas terrorist group, whose operatives use the area to stage attacks against Israel.

From The Epoch Times

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