UNRWA’s Association With Terrorism Leads To Worldwide Defunding

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Anyone who has even passing knowledge of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people should be familiar with UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. UNRWA was founded in 1949 after five invading Arab nations failed to kill every Jew in the newly formed State of Israel for the sole purpose of keeping the Arab refugees in perpetual limbo as a weapon to use against Israel.

Following the war, in 1949, the West Bank was annexed by Jordan and Gaza was put under military governorship of Egypt. From 1949 to 1967, while nearly a million Jews who were expelled from around the Middle East were resettled into Jordan, the UN organization charged with dealing with Arab refugees did not resettle any. In fact, for 75 years, UNRWA has received and spent tens of billions of dollars in funding from around the world and still has Palestinians (as these Arabs came to be known) living is so called “refugee camps.” UNRWA has never cared about the Palestinian cause, only the anti-Israel one.

So, in a shock to no one who has been paying attention (but a revelation to the rest of the world), intelligence reports obtained by The Wall Street Journal indicate that at least 12 employees of UNRWA had connections to Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel. This scratches the surface on how there is significant infiltration of the UN agency by individuals linked to Hamas.

According to the dossier, six UNRWA workers actively participated in the wave of Palestinian militants responsible for the deadliest assault on Jews since the Holocaust, resulting in the tragic death of 1,200 people. Disturbingly, two employees were involved in the kidnapping of Israelis, while two others were traced to locations where Israeli civilians were shot and killed. Additionally, some UNRWA staff played key roles in coordinating logistics for the attack, including the procurement of weapons.

Of the 12 employees linked to the attacks, seven were identified as primary or secondary school teachers, revealing a troubling connection between the education sector and militant activities. The intelligence reports, based on sensitive signals intelligence, cell-phone tracking, interrogations, and documents recovered from militants, among other sources, formed the basis of a briefing to US officials.

Intelligence estimates indicate that approximately 1,200 out of UNRWA’s 12,000 employees in Gaza have connections to Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad, with half having close relatives affiliated with these designated terrorist organizations. The infiltration is not confined to a few isolated cases; rather, it underscores a broader issue within the agency. A senior Israeli government official remarked that “the institution as a whole is a haven for Hamas’ radical ideology.”

The problematic ties extend beyond individual employees to the agency’s overall politicization. The report indicates that 23% of UNRWA’s male employees have links to Hamas, surpassing the average of 15% for adult males in Gaza. This heightened politicization raises questions about the agency’s ability to maintain neutrality and fulfill its humanitarian mandate.

The controversy surrounding UNRWA is not new. Accusations of nurturing anti-Israeli sentiment and serving as a recruitment ground for militant groups have long been directed at the agency. The Trump administration suspended funding in 2018, deeming its mission fundamentally misguided, but the Biden administration reinstated funding in 2021 to the tune of $235 million.

This “revelation” prompted 16 countries (so far) to temporarily defund UNRWA. This includes the US, the EU, the United Kingdom, Canada, Sweden, Germany, Japan, Italy, and others. Many of the same countries that expected Israel to fund UNRWA after October 7 are now pulling their funding because of the clear institutional takeover Hamas has in the organization.

Some Israel haters, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, are horrified that the funding is being pulled from the terror-supporting organization. Shouts of “collective punishment” for the actions of a “small percentage” of UNRWA employees have filled the airwaves and social media since the announcement went out. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who cannot go a Sunday without appearing on a news program, stated “Cutting off support to @UNRWA – the primary source of humanitarian aid to 2 million+ Gazans – is unacceptable,” she wrote on X. “Among an organization of 13,000 UN aid workers, risking the starvation of millions over grave allegations of 12 is indefensible. The US should restore aid immediately.” AOC ignored the 1,200 more with direct ties to Hamas or the thousands who were on the Telegram channel celebrating the October 7 attacks.

The most insane reaction has to be from Norman Finkelstein, who hates Israel so deeply that he’s willing to destroy whatever small amount of credibility he has to shill for terrorists. “Stop the Presses! Hamas Militants Have Day Jobs!” Finkelstein wrote. Yes, being a terrorist is a hobby, but that shouldn’t stop the United Nations from employing you, and the world funding your salary! Finkelstein goes on to say that the nations suspending aid are “sadistic” and he hopes that the “great Houthi people” will “take special note of ships from these countries” when committing acts of terror in the Red Sea.

The extensive ties between UNRWA employees and Hamas, as outlined in the intelligence reports, expose a systemic issue that goes beyond isolated incidents. Going forward, the UNRWA should be dismantled completely, and no UN organization should replace it. For most of a century, the UN has been in opposition to peace and stability in the region. It’s past time for Israel to take a stronger hand in the Palestinian territories to “denazify” the region.

Moshe Hill is a political analyst and columnist. His work can be found at www.aHillwithaView.com  and on X at @HillWithView.