The Biden administration and multiple foreign governments have temporarily halted funding to UNRWA — the United Nations’ corrupt and disgraced mission in Gaza — following the emergence of evidence that some of its employees directly participated or collaborated in Hamas’ October 7th terrorist slaughter of Israeli civilians. As we noted yesterday, the Biden ‘pause’ is less impactful than it might seem, as already-allocated funds will continue to flow to the organization. And in case you missed it, Katie highlighted new reporting into the extent to which people on the UNRWA payroll have been linked with violent extremist groups. The New York Times outlined damning allegations against alleged UNRWA/Hamas terrorists, stemming from their roles in the massacre late last year:
One is accused of kidnapping a woman. Another is said to have handed out ammunition. A third was described as taking part in the massacre at a kibbutz where 97 people died. And all were said to be employees of the United Nations aid agency that schools, shelters and feeds hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The accusations are contained in a dossier provided to the United States government that details Israel’s claims against a dozen employees of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency who, it says, played a role in the Hamas attacks against Israel on Oct. 7 or in their aftermath. The U.N. said on Friday that it had fired several employees after being briefed on the allegations. But little was known about the accusations until the dossier was reviewed on Sunday by The New York Times. The accusations are what prompted eight countries, including the United States, to suspend some aid payment to UNRWA…
…The Israeli dossier, presented to U.S. officials on Friday, lists the names and jobs of the UNRWA employees and the allegations against them. The dossier said that Israeli intelligence officers had established the movements of six of the men inside Israel on Oct. 7 based on their phones; others had been monitored while making phone calls inside Gaza during which, the Israelis say, they discussed their involvement in the Hamas attack. Three others got text messages ordering them to report to muster points on Oct. 7, and one was told to bring rocket-propelled grenades stored at his home, according to the dossier…The Israelis described 10 of the employees as members of Hamas, the militant group that controlled Gaza at the time of the Oct. 7 attack. Another was said to be affiliated with another militant group, Islamic Jihad…Seven of the accused were also said to be teachers at UNRWA schools, instructing students in subjects like math and Arabic. Two others worked at the schools in other capacities. The remaining three were described as a clerk, a social worker and the storeroom manager.
The Times story notes that the UN Secretary General, while professing to be horrified by the accusations, is nevertheless urging the US and other countries to restore funding to UNRWA, pointing out that the agency employs thousands of people. It’s unfair, he and others say, to take needed money away from UNRWA based on the claimed terrorist activity of a small handful of bad apples. Which brings us to a bombshell Wall Street Journal story, which Katie also cited in her post:
At least 12 employees of the U.N.’s Palestinian refugee agency had connections to Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel and around 10% of all of its Gaza staff have ties to Islamist militant groups, according to intelligence reports reviewed by The Wall Street Journal…Intelligence estimates shared with the U.S. conclude that around 1,200 of Unrwa’s roughly 12,000 employees in Gaza have links to Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and about half have close relatives who belong to the Islamist militant groups. Both groups have been designated as terrorist organizations by the U.S. and others. Hamas has run Gaza since a 2007 coup. “Unrwa’s problem is not just ‘a few bad apples’ involved in the October 7 massacre,” said a senior Israeli government official. “The institution as a whole is a haven for Hamas’ radical ideology.”…The report said 23% of Unrwa’s male employees had ties to Hamas, a higher percentage than the average of 15% for adult males in Gaza, indicating a higher politicization of the agency than the population at large. Nearly half of all Unrwa employees—an estimated 49%—also had close relatives who also had official ties to the militant groups, especially Hamas, the intelligence reports said.
Twelve people out of more than 12,000 would be one thing. But this intelligence report suggests that one in ten UN employees in Gaza are affiliated with Hamas or Islamic Jihad. That’s equivalent to the number of civilians, mostly Jewish, who were slaughtered by Hamas in the single deadliest pogrom since the Holocaust. Among males, it’s nearly a quarter — higher than the general average among men in Gaza. Just about half of these UNRWA employees are estimated to be related to someone tied to Islamist militant groups. This is not about a handful of bad actors. UNRWA appears to be shot through with terrorist sympathizers and full-blown terrorists. This is further borne out by evidence presented that UNRWA teachers and other workers openly cheered on the Hamas horrors as they unfolded, posting enthusiastically in a Telegram chat group containing thousands of people. That they felt comfortable celebrating the bloodshed so flagrantly and out in the open speaks to an irreparably poisoned culture within the organization.
Beyond the direct involvement that’s coming to light, there’s also a strong case pointing to widespread aiding, abetting and enabling — including the sick reality that terrorists have managed to operate out of UNRWA schools and other facilities for many years, with at least the tacit ‘see nothing’ indulgence of countless agency employees along the way. This has been true for a very long time, which is why the Trump administration cut off taxpayer aid to UNRWA in 2018, years before October 7th further exposed the group’s entanglement with outright terrorism (Biden restored this funding, of course). This and other key points were made calmly and ably by this former American official during an adversarial interview with a BBC anchor:
Indeed, exploitation of the United Nations mission in Gaza has been an appalling fact of life for decades. Watch this 2004 clip to the very end, when armed Hamas terrorists pile into an UNRWA ambulance to make their escape:
It took me several days to find, but here it is: the rare video UNRWA doesn't want you to see.— Shlomo Fishman (@shlomo_fishman) January 28, 2024
This footage from Gaza, taken by a Reuters cameraman in 2004, shows 5 armed terrorists evacuating in a single UNRWA ambulance (!), after killing 6 IDF soldiers.
This footage… pic.twitter.com/yFljLp9Mc6
Sources:— Shlomo Fishman (@shlomo_fishman) January 28, 2024
1. The publishing of the original video in 2004 on the Access Middle East Website (after using the Wayback Machine):https://t.co/7B0Naa1MAV
2. Two reports about this video, a week after it was published (one includes UNRWAs acknowledgementof this incident):…
Hamas always operates out of hospitals and schools, despite various denials from UNRWA, which would occasionally morph into “shocked” statements of condemnation when the evidence became overwhelming. It remains overwhelming:
As a reminder, at least one of the released hostages (Sharon Aloni Cunio) has said that she and her kids were held at Nasser hospital for weeks with around 30 other hostages… https://t.co/5EcLkUCx5H— AG (@AGHamilton29) January 28, 2024
The position of the ‘ceasefire’ crowd (they never seem upset at Hamas for rejecting ceasefires, by the way) is that ongoing foreign aid must continue to flow to UNRWA, in spite of its documented terrorist infiltration. For some, said infiltration is a feature, not a bug. Rather than blaming UNRWA for its pro-terrorism culture, or holding Hamas accountable for the outcomes of the war it started with a heinous civilian massacre (as it continues holding hostages months later), they invariably rail against Israel and the West. They do this under the guise of ‘humanitarian’ concern, but their selective outrage speaks for itself. What’s remarkable is that even pushing a Hamas-enabling ceasefire from literally day one, and demanding the restoration of full UNRWA funding, apparently hasn’t spared Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez a great deal of ire from her fellow comrades. Her impurity against The Cause, it seems, is that she won’t repeat the disgusting and deceitful claim that Israel is guilty of “genocide.” In these circles, one must go full anti-Semitic crank, or be viewed with suspicion:
Congresswoman AOC is getting significant pushback from supporters for her response to @kwelkernbc’s question about her colleagues, like Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, accusing President Biden of funding genocide.— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) January 29, 2024
The central point of criticism: the fact that she declined to state… pic.twitter.com/KsWbtEFpxz
Other allied members of Congress have no such hesitation, just as they eagerly amplify straight-up Hamas propaganda. Speaking of AOC’s fellow ‘Squad’ members, have a look at this:
A U.S. Congresswoman proclaimed she is "Somali first, Muslim second" while broadly proclaiming her allegiance to a foreign nation, going so far as to say she's subverting the U.S. system to protect Somalia's interests…— Bonchie (@bonchieredstate) January 29, 2024
And no one outside the right will care. https://t.co/kvVfg4VO68
I’ll also remind you that party leadership continues to financially support these radicals’ campaigns. I’ll leave you with a parting thought: How many leftists in America say UNRWA must continue to be generously bankrolled by US taxpayers, even in light of the revelations mentioned above, but totally reject ‘few bad apples’ arguments in advocating defunding the police here at home?