Washington, D.C.--U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) co-sponsored a bill to ban U.S. funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) permanently. The bill would also divert unspent U.S. UNRWA funding to protect American citizens by continuing to construct a wall along America’s southern border.
“The Biden Administration’s failure to act in the best interest of Americans has allowed a record number of illegal border crossings and funded organizations participating in the attack of our greatest ally in the Middle East,” said Crapo. “Congress must act to permanently end funding for UNRWA and secure our borders, as we cannot rely on the Executive Branch to do so.”
The legislation is co-sponsored by John Kennedy (R-Louisiana), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) and Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota).
“Hamas uses UNRWA facilities as a shield to perpetuate vicious antisemitic attacks against Israel, and it uses UNRWA resources to indoctrinate the people it is supposed to be caring for,” said Kennedy. “UNRWA employees actively participated in violently massacring Israel civilians last October. The U.S. can’t keep bankrolling a corrupt group that helps Hamas attack our greatest ally in the Middle East, and the Biden Administration can’t keep turning a blind eye to its border crisis.”
According to reporting this week, “At least 12 employees of the U.N.’s Palestinian refugee agency had connections to Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel and around 10% of all of its Gaza staff have ties to Islamist militant groups.” Reporting based on intelligence documents revealed that six UNRWA workers joined the Palestinian militants who “killed 1,200 people in the deadliest assault on Jews since the Holocaust.” UNRWA workers also did logistics work for the attack and procured weapons that terrorists used against civilians.
The U.S. currently contributes more to UNRWA than any other nation, giving the Hamas-front group $343 million in 2022 alone after President Joe Biden reversed former President Donald Trump’s 2018 stop on aid to the group.
UNRWA is one of the largest United Nations (UN) programs and relies almost wholly on independent and state donations to run its programs.
Through its mandate, UNRWA is to provide basic education, primary health care, micro-credit and emergency assistance to the residents of Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and Gaza. Independent reviews of UNRWA-supplied curriculum, however, have shown that it includes “a systematic insertion of violence, martyrdom and jihad across all grades and subjects.”
The effects of this anti-Semitic indoctrination are far-reaching, as roughly one-third of UNRWA’s budget goes to providing education to refugees.
The links between UNRWA’s educational work and Hamas terrorism became starker with reporting that seven of the UNRWA workers connected to the October 7, 2023, attacks taught primary or secondary school children.
In 2015, a UN inquiry found weapons in UNRWA schools.
Text of the bill is available here.