The Biden administration’s substantial financial support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is facing scrutiny and calls for action due to concerns about its alleged connections to the Hamas terror group.
Here, we examine the latest developments surrounding this issue.
Senator Cruz urges End to US Funding for UNRWA over Hamas concerns
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has called for an immediate halt to U.S. funding for UNRWA, citing its potential benefits to Hamas.
He argues that UNRWA’s distribution of resources in the Gaza Strip indirectly supports the Hamas war machine, posing a direct threat to Israelis and Americans.
Cruz states, “The United States should immediately halt funding to UNRWA and work to replace it with a more responsible organization.”
The Biden administration has allocated approximately $1 billion in taxpayer money to UNRWA since 2021.
US aid to UNRWA: Debating Gaza support and alleged Hamas links
This substantial financial support has come under increased scrutiny, with some representatives alleging that the agency’s actions indirectly support Hamas in Gaza.
UNRWA has been accused of complicity in supporting Hamas, especially in Gaza. Critics argue that while aid may reach Gaza residents, it can also indirectly benefit Hamas terrorists.
Some contend that when President Joe Biden assumed office, his administration was aware that resuming aid to UNRWA could potentially benefit Hamas but proceeded anyway, exempting itself from anti-terrorism laws.
John Kirby, a spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council, defended UNRWA’s work, emphasizing its essential role in delivering crucial aid to the people of Gaza.
UNRWA’s operational challenges, accusations of incitement in Palestine
He acknowledged the challenges UNRWA faces, stating that the agency operates in harm’s way.
However, Kirby also noted that UNRWA should not be held accountable for how Hamas uses civilian infrastructure for its purposes.
David Bedein, director of the Center for Near East Policy Research, produced a video titled “Askar—UNRWA: Cradle of Killers.”
The video purportedly shows Palestinian children inciting hatred against Jews and Israel at the Askar refugee camp near Nablus in the West Bank.
UNRWA faces allegations of terrorism links, prompts US funding debate
These allegations have sparked outrage and further questions about UNRWA’s activities.
Some critics argue that UNRWA has employed individuals linked to terrorist movements like Hamas and has promoted antisemitic textbooks.
Additionally, they claim that UNRWA’s facilities have been used to store Hamas weapons.
Senator Jim Risch, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has actively sought legislation to stop U.S. funding to UNRWA, deeming it unacceptable for U.S. taxpayer dollars to support an organization facing allegations of ties to terrorism and antisemitism.
UNRWA controversy: Alleged Hamas weapon storage, US funding scrutiny
In the past, UNRWA schools and facilities have been identified as potential storage sites for weapons used by Hamas.
Reports suggest that rocket launchers were located near a UNRWA school in the Gaza Strip, raising concerns about the use of UNRWA facilities for military purposes.
The allegations and concerns surrounding U.S. funding for UNRWA due to its alleged ties to Hamas continue to generate debate and calls for accountability.
As this issue unfolds, it remains a topic of significant interest and scrutiny.