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Jewish Leaders Commend Cessation of Funding to UNRWA, Demand Accountability

New York, NY… Harriet P. Schleifer, Chair, and William Daroff, CEO, of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, issued the following statement:

“We commend the Biden administration and sixteen countries for taking swift action to halt funding for The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Recent disclosures from Israeli intelligence and confirmed by the United States and other allied nations have brought to light that at least 10% of UNRWA personnel in Gaza are terrorists, and over half are relatives of Hamas militants. We thank the House Foreign Affairs Committee for holding a hearing on this matter on Tuesday, examining the agency’s failures and long-standing ties to terrorism.

“These recent revelations confirm what we already knew: that UNRWA in Gaza is thoroughly infiltrated by Hamas and subordinated to its terrorist agenda. From the beginning of the Hamas terror army’s genocidal war against Israel, UNRWA facilities have been openly used by Hamas militants for military purposes, including to transport Israeli hostages, hide terror tunnels, store weapons, and as military positions from which to fire at Israeli troops.

“For decades, UNRWA has consistently propagated antisemitism and incited violence against Israel and the Jewish people. As is well documented, educational materials disseminated by UNRWA schools have encouraged antisemitism, terrorism, and jihadi extremism while calling for the destruction of Israel. 

“As American Jewish leaders, we urge that UNRWA be held accountable for the actions of its personnel and leadership. All other refugees around the world fall under the purview of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees — we question the necessity and efficacy of UNRWA as the only UN agency dedicated to a single refugee population, all the more so because of its failure to manage and resettle the Palestinians since 1948 and its role in corruption, indoctrination, and terror. 

“Though suspension of funding by donor states is a crucial first step, we call on donor nations to help ensure that UNRWA will play no role in Gaza after the ongoing war ends.”


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