Former government officials demand US defund UN agency over allegations workers participated in terror attack on Israel: Report

A coalition of activists and former government officials called on Congress to permanently defund a United Nations agency over reports that some of its workers participated in the recent terror attack on Israel, according to a Monday letter obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The recent letter, sent by conservative policy nonprofit Advancing American Freedom, was addressed to Republican Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (La.), Democratic Minority Leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.), Democratic Majority Leader Senator Charles Schumer (N.Y.), and Republican Minority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (Ky.).

“It is a moral imperative that the United States Congress affirmatively defund the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) and prohibit the Biden Administration from directly or indirectly providing any taxpayer funding or support to the openly antisemitic and now apparently terrorist organization,” the letter stated.

It noted that the U.S. could not continue to fund the agency “with a clean conscience,” adding that financing the UNRWA would be crossing a “red line.”

“For years, the American people were told a litany of lies aimed at creating a false understanding of UNRWA as simply a humanitarian organization that needed the hard-earned tax dollars of the American people to provide services for millions of Palestinians misleadingly characterized as ‘refugees,'” it continued.

The nonprofit’s letter to Congress was signed by more than 70 activists and former government officials, including former U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman, former deputy administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development Bonnie Glick, CEO of Concerned Women for America Penny Nance, Honorary Chairman of Tea Party Patriot Action Jenny Beth Martin, and CEO of the Republican Jewish Coalition Matt Brooks.

Last month, the U.S. temporarily pulled funding from the UNRWA after reports surfaced that at least a dozen of its employees were allegedly directly involved in the October 7 terror attack on Israel, Blaze News previously reported.

According to a leaked dossier from Israeli intelligence officials, nearly 1,200 UNRWA workers allegedly have ties to Hamas or the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. As a result of the findings, nine employees were terminated.

UNRWA commissioner-general Philippe Lazzarini stated, “The Israeli Authorities have provided UNRWA with information about the alleged involvement of several UNRWA employees in the horrific attacks on Israel on 7 October.”

“To protect the Agency’s ability to deliver humanitarian assistance, I have taken the decision to immediately terminate the contracts of these staff members and launch an investigation in order to establish the truth without delay. Any UNRWA employee who was involved in acts of terror will be held accountable, including through criminal prosecution,” Lazzarini added.

The U.S. Department of State responded to the reports by halting “additional funding for UNRWA while we review these allegations and the steps the United Nations is taking to address them,” according to a January press release.

“The United States is extremely troubled by the allegations that twelve UNRWA employees may have been involved in the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel,” the State Department said. It claimed the U.N. agency “plays a critical role in providing lifesaving assistance to Palestinians.”

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