Ronny Jackson introduces bill prohibiting additional funding to UNRWA

Texas Congressman Ronny Jackson (TX-13) has introduced new legislation to prohibit additional funding to a United Nations (UN) organization after recent revelations that members of the group took part in the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel.

The Uncovering UNRWA’s Terrorist Crimes Act will direct the U.S. Secretary of State to create and submit a report to Congress on any funding that was provided by the United States to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East, and prohibit any additional American funding to the organization.

The UNRWA is funded by both voluntary contributions from UN member states and the UN Regular Budget. 

The organization states it is “unique in terms of its long-standing commitment to one group of refugees,” those refugees being “persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 War.”

“The descendants of Palestine refugee males, including legally adopted children, are also eligible for registration.”

According to UNRWA, it provides health care, microfinance loans, camp infrastructure, emergency assistance, and other services. 

Former President Donald Trump cut all U.S. funding for UNRWA in 2018, which the Biden administration resumed in April 2021.

In a statement, Jackson called the UNRWA “an anti-Israel, anti-Jewish organization that promotes terrorism and anti-Semitism.”

“UNRWA is also one of the largest money laundering and child-trafficking organizations in the world that works directly with Hamas to hire teachers to indoctrinate innocent children. This is yet another sorry example of the United States being suckered into sending billions of dollars overseas to globalist organizations that want to put America last, despite being more than $34 trillion in debt,” Jackson said. 

“American taxpayer dollars have no place in promoting and enabling terrorism, yet that's exactly what's been happening with UNRWA, and I won't stand for it any longer." 

According to an Israeli intelligence dossier, some UNRWA employees took part in the Hamas’ October 7 attack. The allegations include that a total of 1,200 people, 10 percent of its Gaza staff, have ties to Islamist militant groups, and at least 12 employees had connections to the October 7 attack. 

“Unrwa’s problem is not just ‘a few bad apples’ involved in the October 7 massacre,” a senior Israeli government official told the Wall Street Journal. “The institution as a whole is a haven for Hamas’ radical ideology.”

UNRWA stated that Israeli authorities had provided them with information about the involvement of their staff and that the organization took steps to “immediately terminate the contracts of these staff members and launch an investigation in order to establish the truth without delay.”

“UNRWA reiterates its condemnation in the strongest possible terms of the abhorrent attacks of 7 October and calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all Israeli hostages and their safe return to their families.”

The U.S. State Department issued a statement saying it has temporarily paused additional funding for UNRWA as they “review these allegations and the steps the United Nations is taking to address them.” The release adds that the U.S. is “extremely troubled by the allegations that twelve UNRWA employees may have been involved in the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel.”

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said more than 99 percent of U.S. dollars approved by Congress for UNRWA this year has already been sent. 

Since the allegations and investigation were announced, UNRWA has lost funding from 18 different countries including the European Union (EU), which had contributed $114.1 million. The United States had donated $343.9 million before it “temporarily paused additional funding.”

The U.S. and EU account for roughly 75 percent of UNRWA’s budget. 

The UN has continued to urge countries to reverse course on suspending funding to UNRWA, saying that “decisions to withhold funds from UNRWA must be revoked.”

Addressing the UN Security Council, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said, “To put it bluntly and simply: our humanitarian response for the Occupied Palestinian Territory is completely dependent on UNRWA being adequately funded and operational.”

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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