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EDITORIAL: Permanently defund the terrorist-infested UNRWA

U.S. tax dollars shouldn’t subsidize groups that employ terrorists. Yet the Biden administration hasn’t been able to clear that low bar.

Late last month, Reuters reported that around 190 employees of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees have been members of Hamas or Islamic Jihad. The information came from an Israeli intelligence dossier. Reuters reported an Israeli official described those 190 individuals as “hardened fighters, killers.”

This group, commonly known as UNRWA, is supposed to be a humanitarian organization providing services such as education and medical care to those in the Gaza Strip. But its employees don’t limit their activities to helping others.

Israeli intelligence believes some UNRWA employees participated in the Oct. 7 terror attack that killed 1,200 people in Israel. Hamas terrorists kidnapped hundreds more. Many are still held hostage.

According to the dossier, one UNRWA employee participated in the attack on Be’eri, where 10 percent of residents were murdered. One teacher allegedly filmed a hostage. A social worker is believed to have been involved with coordinating the movements of vehicles and supplies used by terrorists.

UNRWA has around 13,000 employees, but this can’t be dismissed as a few bad apples. Israeli intelligence believes 10 percent of its workforce have a connection to Hamas or Islamic Jihad. Those who are alleged to have directly participated in the terror include a teacher, social worker and school counselor.

Additionally, the Israeli Defense Forces provided photographic evidence that Hamas had a rocket site in a UNRWA warehouse. Another was next to a UNRWA school. This isn’t new information. Almost a decade ago, the United Nations itself confirmed that UNRWA schools were being used to hide weapons and that weapons were likely fired from those schools.

If you’ve ever wondered why those in the Gaza Strip hate Israel so intently, here’s a major clue. Many of the UNRWA teachers are terrorists or supportive of terrorists. Some schools contain weapons used to attack Israel. Little wonder the children grow into adults fixated on eliminating Israel and killing Israelis.

During his presidency, Donald Trump withdrew U.S. funding from UNRWA. Shortly after taking office, President Joe Biden reversed course. In 2022, the United States sent the group $344 million. Just since last October, this country has given the group $121 million.

After these latest damning and troubling allegations, the United States and several other countries temporarily paused their funding of the agency. Given how infested UNRWA is with terrorists and terror supporters, those contributions should be permanently cut off.

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