The United States and several other nations cut or paused funding to the organization. However, a new report provides even more details about the influence of Hamas on the agency, further illustrating the level of corruption among its staff members. A pause is hardly enough.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “At least 12 employees of the U.N.’s Palestinian refugee agency had connections to Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel and around 10% of all of its Gaza staff have ties to Islamist militant groups.”
Townhall: Republican Congressman Brian Mast, who served in the Israeli Defense Forces and the U.S. Army, has introduced legislation to permanently defund the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. The bill comes after the Wall Street Journal revealed the “relief” agency is infested with terrorists who not only indoctrinate children in UNWRA schools to murder their Jewish neighbors, but that thousands of workers participated in the October 7 massacre against Israeli civilians. UNRWA workers and teachers also helped take Israelis and Americans hostage in the Gaza Strip (Townhall).
Rep. Brian Mast: UNRWA is a front: plain and simple. While it masquerades as a relief organization, it has built the infrastructure to support Hamas and has indoctrinated Palestinian children to hate all Jews. Not a single penny of our tax dollars should go to UNRWA (X).
Senator Kate Britt (R-AL): The far-left would defund the police but fund terrorists. 10% of UNRWA staff in Gaza have links to terror groups, while 49% of UNRWA staff have close relatives who are members of Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad. UNRWA can’t be trusted with a cent of U.S. taxpayer money (X).
Seth Mandel writes:
As I wrote on Friday, next to the Gaza war itself, the most important story about the conflict is the corruption of international institutions. There’s a corollary to this: After Oct. 7, institutions should be judged by how much of their behavior is governed by what we’ve learned since the attacks. There is absolutely no going back to the pre-10/7 world, and Mideast or Mideast-adjacent governments and organizations must be held to that standard.
Some details from the intel report viewed by the Journal: “Intelligence estimates shared with the U.S. conclude that around 1,200 of Unrwa’s roughly 12,000 employees in Gaza have links to Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and about half have close relatives who belong to the Islamist militant groups.”
But here’s the true kicker: “Two officials familiar with the intelligence said the Unrwa employees considered to have ties with militant groups were deemed to be ‘operatives,’ indicating they took active part in the organization’s military or political framework. The report said 23% of Unrwa’s male employees had ties to Hamas, a higher percentage than the average of 15% for adult males in Gaza, indicating a higher politicization of the agency than the population at large.”
To repeat that last stat: Men in Gaza who work for the UN are more likely to be involved with Hamas than those who don’t have jobs at the UN agency.
A quarter of UNRWA’s male staff have taken part in Hamas’s “military or political framework.” A quarter!
Several Western countries paused additional funding for the agency in the wake of the allegations, but that is far from sufficient. The problems at UNRWA have long been known, but the larger problem for its defenders is that the agency’s budgeting structure hid all of its corruption and violence in plain sight.
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