On September 23, 14 days before the Hamas terror attacks on Israel, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, announced more funding for the United Nations Human Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA). The funding goes to Gaza and the West Bank. 

“I am proud to announce the United States is providing more than $73 million in additional funding to support UNRWA’s core and emergency services,” Thomas-Greenfield said.

After Hamas terrorists slaughtered more than 1,000 innocent Israelis, including 14 Israeli-Americans, on Oct. 7, the Israeli Defense Forces entered Gaza to save 200 hostages. Hamas held the hostages in underground tunnels. During the hostage recovery mission, IDF and Israeli intelligence found evidence that UNRWA personnel assisted Hamas in the Oct. 7 attacks.

In late January, Thomas-Greenfield announced the suspension of U.S. funds to UNRWA. She called for “fundamental change” in UNRWA. Change might include assurances by U.N. officials that UNRWA would discontinue using U.S. funds to massacre Israeli and American civilians.

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, a candidate for the GOP presidential nomination, withheld U.S. funding from UNRWA until Palestinians began peace negotiations with Israel. The negotiations did not happen. In his 2020 presidential campaign, Joe Biden promised to restore funding for UNRWA.

Based on UNRWA’s website, Biden has given more than $1 billion to the agency. Al Jazeera reported that the United States gave more than $400 million in 2023. Hamas used the money to buy military weapons, build secret tunnels, and plot with UNRWA officials to attack Israel, murder Israelis and Americans, undermine peace and security in the region, and interfere with U.S. foreign policy.

Biden and his administration say they were unaware of the UNRWA-Hamas terror connection. Now they know. Now America and the world know.

While the IDF seeks Israeli and American hostages in Gaza, it could find more evidence about UNRWA’s support for Hamas and, possibly, other terrorist groups. It is worthwhile that the IDF continue its mission in Gaza. It might find Hamas/UNRWA plans for future terror attacks. The IDF’s mission could help prevent more terror attacks and save innocent lives.

The role of UNRWA in the Oct. 7 terror attacks has caused some to question the U.S. role in the United Nations. Thomas-Greenfield is right that “fundamental change” is needed at UNRWA and the United Nations. U.N. personnel should be subject to thorough background investigations to determine if they have a connection with international terror groups. Congress should insist that Thomas-Greenfield take responsibility for the actions of all U.S. personnel found to be involved with terrorist organizations. Diplomats should not have immunity from prosecution for their involvement with terrorist groups.

It is a positive first step for Biden to cease U.S. funding for UNRWA. Some at the United Nations call this “immoral” due to the immense hardship on the Palestinians. It would be immoral for the Palestinians to continue suffering under the control of Hamas. It would be immoral for the United States to continue funding Hamas.

Biden should suspend all U.S. funding to UNRWA until Hamas releases all hostages, surrenders to the IDF, and Palestinians begin peace negotiations with Israel.

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