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Tags: UNRWA | palestine | biden | covid-19 | hamas | terror

Biden Allocates $33.7M COVID-19 Relief to Palestinian Group

By    |   Saturday, 14 October 2023 12:47 PM EDT

In a move drawing both support and criticism, the Biden administration has allocated $33.7 million from the American Rescue Plan to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), a Palestinian relief organization.

The funding, part of a larger $500 million allocation to the State Department's Migration and Refugee Assistance program, has sparked concerns due to UNRWA's alleged connections to Hamas, a designated terrorist organization, according to Fox News.

Critics have long accused UNRWA of failing to prevent aid from reaching Hamas terrorists. Reports indicate that UNRWA facilities have been used for Hamas activities and even for spreading propaganda within schools. In 2014, The New Republic referred to UNRWA as "effectively a branch of Hamas."

U.N. Watch, an independent organization, has raised concerns about UNRWA schools allegedly promoting antisemitic sentiments and glorifying terrorism. Although UNRWA acknowledged these issues in 2021 and promised corrective measures, skepticism remains.

Furthermore, in 2014, UNRWA condemned the discovery of Hamas missiles at one of its schools in Gaza, which occurred twice in one week. The situation prompted international outrage and accusations that UNRWA facilities were being used for military purposes and by terrorists.

Professor Anne Bayefsky, director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, emphasized the problematic relationships between UNRWA officials and Hamas, saying, "Whenever these facts — war crimes — are revealed, the U.N. does a quick 'investigation,' sometimes accompanied by a meaningless expression of regret, and carries on."

The Trump administration halted funding to UNRWA in 2018, a move criticized by some who argued that it affected impoverished Gaza residents. The Biden administration reinstated the funding despite concerns about potential indirect support for terror groups.

A leaked March 2021 State Department document, according to Fox News, revealed officials' reservations about resuming funding to the Palestinian Authority, stating that there was a "high risk" of Hamas benefiting from U.S. assistance. Nevertheless, they argued that such support was essential for national security and foreign policy objectives.

In July 2022, the Biden administration reaffirmed its commitment to UNRWA by allocating $201 million, solidifying its position as the agency's largest donor, with a total contribution of over $618 million.

This week, however, as reported by The New York Post, the Biden administration allocated a cumulative sum of $730 million to UNRWA.

Victoria Coates, a former deputy national security adviser in the Trump administration, noted that UNRWA relies heavily on contributions from entities like the United Nations, which U.S. taxpayers fund.

UNRWA, established following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, is funded primarily by voluntary contributions from U.N. member states. Despite criticism and controversy, it continues to provide humanitarian services, including education, health care, and relief.

Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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In a move drawing both support and criticism, the Biden administration has allocated $33.7 million from the American Rescue Plan to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, a Palestinian relief organization.
UNRWA, palestine, biden, covid-19, hamas, terror
439
2023-47-14
Saturday, 14 October 2023 12:47 PM
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