Waste of the Day: U.S. Sent $1.2 Billion to Hamas-Backed UN agency

By Adam Andrzejewski, REAL CLEAR INVESTIGATIONS 3 Mar 2024

Topline: The U.S. government has given $1.2 billion to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency since April 2021, according to a report from OpenTheBooks.com.

UNRWA exists to provide humanitarian support for Palestinian refugees. But 10% of the agency’s employees are believed to have connections to the terrorist group Hamas, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report.

At least 12 employees were directly involved in the Oct. 7 attacks against Israel, including one teacher who allegedly kept a hostage in his attic for 50 days.


Key facts: U.S. taxpayers have spent over $8 billion to help Palestinian refugees since 1950, OpenTheBooks found.

The U.S. has provided almost one-third of UNRWA’s total funding, more than any other country. President Barack Obama’s administration spent more than any other president, with annual payments reaching nearly $400 million.

Former President Donald Trump cut all aid to UNRWA for the first time in 71 years because of concerns it could support Hamas and the Palestinian Liberation Organization, which used funds to support the families of dead terrorists.

President Joe Biden restarted U.S. support in 2021 and spent over $300 million each year. Biden said at the time that providing balanced support to both Israel and Palestine was the best way to work toward a two-state solution.

But concerns were expressed as early as 2014 that UNRWA was “effectively a branch of Hamas.”

Even after Oct. 7, the Biden administration sent another $121 million in Palestinian aid to UNRWA. Funding did not stop until this January.

A Biden-backed bill moving through Congress would redirect UNRWA funding toward other humanitarian groups in Gaza.

Critical quote: Ethan Mayer-Rich of the Arab Center Washington D.C. opposed the U.S.’s recent decision to pause UNRWA funding.

“We’re seeing a pretty quick departure from what used to be a split down party lines,” he said. “It’s reckless, and ultimately I think history is going to see [the U.S.] as being completely complicit in what is unquestionably an incredibly tragic and dire situation.”

Supporting quote: Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) wants the U.S. to permanently end UNRWA funding, not just temporarily pause it.

“Weapons have been found in UNRWA schools. Hamas tunnels have been found adjacent to UNRWA facilities. Hamas has stolen $1 million in UNRWA supplies since October 7, while UNRWA facilities may have been used to hold hostages,” Issa said in a letter obtained by the New York Post. “UNRWA has also faced longstanding criticism over its educational programing which indoctrinates Palestinian youth in antisemitism and terror.”

Summary: Concerns have long existed that the $1.2 billion the U.S. sent to UNRWA since 2021 could be used to fund terrorist activities. Tragically, those concerns appear to have been borne out.

The #WasteOfTheDay is brought to you by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com

March 1, 2024 | 7 Comments »

Subscribe to Israpundit Daily Digest

Leave a Reply

7 Comments / 7 Comments

  1. In August 2018, the Trump Administration announced the first U.S. cutoff of contributions to UNRWA, calling its operations “irredeemably flawed.” The Biden Administration resumed funding in April 2021. So far in FY2024, the United States has provided $121 million to UNRWA for Palestinian refugees.

    https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/IN/IN12316#:~:text=In%20August%202018%2C%20the%20Trump,to%20UNRWA%20for%20Palestinian%20refugees.

    One more reason to vote for Trump.

  2. @dreuveni

    This click to edith seems to have vanished…

    Try clearing your computer’s cache or restarting the computer. That usually works.

  3. @Inna1: Unfortunateky, it’s not true that Israel remained silent. However, as usual, all complaints were drowned out in the general uproar regarding how Israel could complain about the humanitarian aid. Commissions were set up to “review” school books, for example, but although the results were, that indoctrination was ongoing, nothing was changed. This in the face of the obvious conclusion that it would take at least a generation or two to start to correct the situation.

  4. @Inna1: Unfortunateky, it’s not true that Israel remained silent. However, as usual, all complaints were drowned out in the general uproar regarding how Israel could complain about the humaitarian aid. Commissions were set up to “review” school books, for example, but although the results were, that indoctrination was ongoing, nothing was changed. This in the face of the obvious conclusion that it would take at least a generation or two to start to correct the situation.

  5. The UN’s support of UNWRA has been known for a long time – the school system, teaching of hatred, supporting terrorism – everything was shown and discussed on the Internet and in many media sources. Why did Israel accept it, was silent?