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US stops funding UNRWA after its personnel implicated in October 7 Hamas terror attack

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The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), an organization accused for decades of fueling radical Islam and anti-Semitism in Gaza, announced Friday that it was suspending some of its employees due to allegations that they participated in the horrific Hamas terrorist attacks against Israel on October 7.

UN chief Antonio Guterres “is horrified” by these accusations and an “urgent and comprehensive independent review of UNRWA will be carried out”, said his spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric.

A statement outlining the decision was issued by Philippe Lazzarini, Commissioner General of UNRWA, saying:

To protect the Agency’s ability to provide humanitarian assistance, I have taken the decision to immediately terminate the contracts of these staff members and open an investigation to establish the truth without delay. Any UNRWA employee involved in acts of terrorism will be held accountable, including through criminal prosecution.

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

These shocking allegations come as more than 2 million people in Gaza rely on the life-saving aid the Agency has been providing since the start of the war. Anyone who betrays the core values ​​of the United Nations also betrays those we serve in Gaza, the region and elsewhere in the world.

The United States was the agency’s largest bilateral donor in 2022, contributing more than $340 million, according to the UNRWA website.

The U.S. State Department also responded quickly to the news, saying it had suspended additional funding to UNRWA while it reviewed the allegations “and actions taken by the United Nations to respond to them.”

Twelve UNRWA employees are currently accused of willfully participating in the deadly Hamas terrorist attack. The State Department said that in light of the investigations:

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on January 25 to emphasize the need for a thorough and rapid investigation into this matter. We welcome the decision to conduct such an investigation and Secretary-General Guterres’ commitment to take decisive action to address it, if the allegations prove true.

We also welcome the UN announcement of a “comprehensive and independent” review of UNRWA. Anyone who participated in the heinous attacks of October 7 must answer for their actions.

UNRWA operates in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

Former President Donald Trump cut off U.S. funding for the group in 2018, but President Joe Biden restored it upon taking office, as Breitbart News reported.

Biden administration officials boasted last February that they had committed more than $730 million from U.S. taxpayers to UNRWA — $680 million between 2021, when Biden became president, and early 2023, followed by a promise from Secretary of State Antony Blinken of another $50 million coming from here. last December.

“Since April 2021, we have demonstrated in a very real and meaningful way our commitment to the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in February.

“We have provided more than $890 million to the Palestinians, including more than $680 million in humanitarian assistance to refugees in the region through UNRWA… When Secretary Blinken was in Ramallah, he announced funding additional $50 million for UNRWA. »

A woman in front of UNRWA headquarters. (Ahmad Hasaballah/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant applauded the decision to isolate the accused, saying UNRWA “aid workers” had “blood on their hands.”

Earlier this month, White House national security spokesman John Kirby defended the Biden administration’s support for UNRWA amid accusations of enabling Hamas terrorists to use its facilities, as Breitbart News reported.

He said UNRWA is doing “important work” in trying to “provide food, water and medicine” to Palestinians in Gaza.

“You cannot hold them responsible for the depravities of Hamas,” he said. Kirby was then asked whether UNRWA should “at a minimum sound the alarm” about the use of its facilities by Hamas.

When Kirby attempted to refer the issue to the United Nations, it was pointed out that the Biden administration had given UNRWA “a billion dollars.”

Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: or by email to: skent@breitbart.com

Breitbart

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