Congressional committee to investigate UNRWA ties to Hamas

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Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA)

The Biden administration has given the aid agency over $730 million after president Trump had cut off all funding.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

A Congressional committee is going to investigate the UN agency dedicated to aiding Palestinians over its alleged ties to the Hamas terror organization, three members of the committee told the New York Post Sunday.

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“There is extensive evidence of a troubling connection between UNRWA and Hamas, and it is far deeper than was known,” said Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “Congress must now investigate and uncover the extent of what UNRWA knew, what it did, and what it may be hiding from the world.”

Jerusalem has accused the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for years of also aiding and abetting Palestinian terrorism by its virulently anti-Israeli textbooks, employment of terrorists among its personnel, and turning a blind eye specifically to Hamas using many of its premises, especially schools, as rocket launching sites against Israel and covers for its terror tunnels.

Several tunnels used by the Islamic extremists have been found during the current war in the Gaza Strip at UNRWA sites. Another even more direct link with the terrorists was documented after one of the Israeli hostages freed last month in a prisoner deal with Hamas, said that that they had been held prisoner in the attic of a home belonging to an UNRWA teacher.

The Foreign Affairs Committee’s oversight subcommittee would be the venue of the probe, and its chairman, Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.), is all for getting started, said his spokesman.

Mast would even like to call in UNRWA head Philippe Lazzarini for questioning, he added, although he cannot be forced to come as he is not an American citizen.

Lazzarini has denied any UNRWA complicity with Hamas terrorists and rejected Israeli charges that UN aid trucks have been stolen by its fighters even while video clips online support Israel’s contentions. He has accused Israel of “blatant disregard of UN premises,” and of not abiding by international humanitarian law in its war against the Islamic extremists.

While he has expressed “deep concern” for the lives of Gaza civilians he has not articulated compassion for the 1,200 Israelis whom Hamas murdered and the thousands they injured during its surprise attack on Gazan envelope communities on October 7.

The international aid group provides food and schooling for Palestinian refugees and their descendants in the Gaza Strip as well as Judea and Samaria and Arab countries such as Lebanon and Syria.

It is the only refugee agency that allows descendants of those who fled war – in this case, Israel’s 1948 War of Independence – to claim refugee status, thus blowing up the number of their dependents to over five million instead of perhaps several thousand who are still alive today from that time.

Then-president Donald Trump dried up U.S. funding to the agency in 2018, calling it an “irredeemably flawed operation.” The White House restored funding to the aid agency, to the tune of over $730 million so far during the Biden administration’s tenure.

Issa is a strong ally of the Jewish state, saying after the Hamas invasion of Israel on October 7 that “This Congress will stand with Israel to ensure that Hamas is eradicated and every hostage is released,” and that “America will stand with its friend, ally and partner in very way and see Israel through another fight for its survival. Israel – the democracy of the Middle East – must win. Hamas – a cancer of the Middle East – must lose.”

Source: World Israel News

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