The United Nations (UN) is facing staunch criticism after Israeli intelligence reports exposed connections between the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and Hamas.
New reports following Israel’s original allegations claim around 1,200 of UNRWA’s roughly 12,000 Gaza employees have links to Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Additionally, nearly 6,000 have close relatives who belong to the Islamist militant groups.
The US has granted hundreds of millions of dollars to UNRWA, which in 2022 reported a budget of $1.17 billion.
Since President Joe Biden took office, the US has granted UNRWA and associated entities over half a billion dollars in assistance.
These include more than $417 million in humanitarian assistance for Palestinian refugees through UNRWA, $75 million in support through USAID, and $20.5 million in COVID and Gaza recovery assistance.
The extent of UNRAW’s ties to Hamas has led some lawmakers to call for a paradigm shift in the US’s role within the UN-UNRAW’s parent organization.
Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) argued “the U.S. MUST reconsider its relationship with the @UN,” adding that “it's disgusting to think a single U.S. taxpayer dollar could have funded these evils.”
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) January 30, 2024
UNRWA has reportedly terminated the contracts of the staff accused of supporting Hamas during the October 7th attacks.
UNRWA is the UN’s exclusive relief agency for Palestinian refugees. In the past, it has been subject to extensive criticism for its employment of individuals with ties to terrorist organizations.
After Hamas’ brutal attacks against Israel on October 7th, many American lawmakers called for the US to cut all aid to Gaza, including funds for UNRWA.
“The U.S. must immediately stop all aid to Gaza and the Palestinian Authority after the unprovoked terrorist attack against Israel, and the human rights atrocities that Hamas terrorists committed, are committing, against Israelis and foreign nations,” said Representative Mills in a statement responding to The Floridian's request for comment on October 9th.