UN Palestinian aid office’s Hamas ties under fire after Oct. 7 attack against Israel
- January 2, 2024
Gabe Kaminsky, Sarah Bedford, Washington Examiner
A United Nations agency handling Palestinian aid is facing renewed congressional scrutiny over its ties to terrorism as Hamas continues its war with Israel.
The Hamas-led Oct. 7 attack against Israel has placed the U.N. Relief and Works Agency in the international spotlight, as Republican lawmakers join national security experts in demanding investigations into reports the UNRWA’s staff is deeply embedded with Hamas and that the organization aids terrorists in the Middle East.
Concerns about the UNRWA’s tolerance for terrorism have dogged the agency for years. However, its failure to condemn Hamas after terrorists killed more than 1,200 people in Israel and its role in distributing the massive influx of humanitarian aid that is arriving in Gaza as Israel responds to the attack have escalated tensions and led to lawmakers pressing for the UNRWA to be defunded.
The Biden administration transferred the aid to the agency despite State Department officials privately worrying in 2021 there was a “high risk” of Hamas deriving an “unintentional benefit from U.S. assistance to Gaza,” internal documents show. The records were obtained by the watchdog group Protect the Public’s Trust and are a window into how the government apparently recognized that American funds sent to Gaza and the West Bank could likely boost terrorism against Israel — but proceeded to send the money anyway.