The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which is responsible for helping Palestinian refugees but reportedly has harbored those who want to harm Israel, has received more than $730 million from the Biden administration.
The restored funding push under President Joe Biden came despite a 2021 State Department report noting the agency had allowed Hamas terrorists to build tunnels under its schools and to stockpile weapons “in or near” other facilities, the New York Post reported Tuesday.
“UNRWA also has a cash assistance program,” FDD senior adviser Rich Goldberg told the Post, noting the UN does not categorize Hamas as a terrorist group, and does not have a “political litmus test” on international aid.
The Trump administration ended funding to UNRWA in 2018, but Biden reversed that decision, and the U.S. is the agency’s largest funder, the Post reported.
Enia Krivine, senior director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ (FDD) Israel Program, told the Post that UNRWA contributes to violence toward Israelis and that the U.S. should immediately review its support.
The Hamas terrorists that kidnapped and butchered Israelis on Saturday “are a generation of Gazans who have been raised in UNRWA camps,” Krivine said. “UNRWA was established to perpetuate the refugee problem.”
“The whole purpose of refugee programs is to reduce refugees and to repatriate refugees and to give them a life and a nation,” Krivine said. “UNRWA does the inverse. UNRWA also teaches antisemitic, anti-Israel content in their schools. It’s really a scandal that the U.S. and the Europeans have funded these curricula through generations of Palestinians.
“UNRWA has been used as staging grounds for attacks. They’ve discovered terror tunnels under UNRWA buildings, registered Hamas members have been employed by UNRWA — it is rotten to the core.”
The State Department announced in February it provided more than $890 million for Palestinians’ since April 2021, with more than $730 million going to UNRWA, the Post reported.
The State Department, which has yet to pause any funding to groups in the Palestinian territories, did not respond to a request for comment, the Post reported. The U.S. Office of Palestinian Affairs also did not respond to a request for comment.