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Sen. Mitt Romney and Sen. Mike Lee propose permanent cessation of U.S. funding for the U.N. agency in Gaza – The News Teller

Title: GOP Senators Demand Permanent Halt to Financial Contributions to UNRWA Amid Allegations of Hamas Links

In a bold move, a unified group of 24 GOP senators has written a letter urging for the permanent cessation of financial contributions to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). This call comes in light of intelligence reports linking several UNRWA employees to the recent Hamas attacks on Israel.

The senators expressed their concerns over the agency’s troubled history, which includes corruption, antisemitism, and alleged support for terrorism. The letter specifically highlighted the involvement of UNRWA employees with ties to Hamas, including primary and secondary school teachers who reportedly participated in anti-Israeli attacks and kidnappings.

While UNRWA plays a critical role in providing humanitarian assistance to approximately 2 million civilians in Gaza, the senators argue that its association with Hamas raises grave ethical and security concerns. Furthermore, over 100 UNRWA employees lost their lives in the recent conflict, underscoring the agency’s vulnerability and the risks involved.

The letter also referenced the Trump administration’s decision to halt funding to UNRWA, which was later reversed by the Biden administration. However, the senators believe that current measures fall short, calling for stricter actions. In response to the allegations, the State Department has temporarily halted additional funding to UNRWA until ongoing investigations conclude.

To address these concerns, Senate Republicans have introduced the UNRWA Accountability and Transparency Act. The bill aims to limit funding to the agency until stringent criteria are met, including ensuring that taxpayer money does not inadvertently support terrorism. Additionally, Republican Representative John Curtis has put forward the DEFUND Act, which seeks to reevaluate the alignment of U.N. agencies with U.S. interests and their worthiness of continued funding.

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As the controversy surrounding UNRWA deepens, it remains to be seen how the U.N. and the international community will respond. Critics argue that accountability and transparency must be prioritized. Meanwhile, supporters stress the vital role UNRWA plays in providing essential aid to vulnerable civilians in Gaza. With further investigations underway, the fate of UNRWA hangs in the balance, awaiting a resolution that meets the expectations of both its beneficiaries and concerned lawmakers.

Thelma Binder

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