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House Foreign Affairs Committee holds hearing on UNRWA

According to the Wall Street Journal, at least 12 United Nations Relief and Works Agency employees participated in the Oct. 7 massacre.
House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing on UNRWA
Posted at 7:01 PM, Feb 01, 2024

The terror links run deep within the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza, and the United Nations knew about it, according to U.N. Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer.

Neuer says his organization has been submitting reports ranging from 10-200 pages to the United Nations for years, and that the reports identified specific UNRWA employees who had made antisemitic and threatening comments.

He detailed one specific instance in his testimony to the House Foreign Affairs Committee Tuesday afternoon.

“An UNRWA teacher said ’By Allah anyone who can kill and slaughter any Zionist and Israeli criminal and doesn’t do so doesn’t deserve to live. Kill them and pursue them everywhere. They are the greatest enemy. All Israel deserves is death.' This is an UNRWA teacher on Facebook. We sent it to the U.N. They did nothing," he said.

According to the Wall Street Journal, at least 12 UNRWA employees participated in the Oct. 7 massacre, including killing, kidnapping, coordinating logistics and procuring weapons. Seven of them were teachers. Nine have been fired, 2 are dead and one is still being identified. 

Israeli intelligence, which Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said is very credible, says that 1,200 UNRWA employees have ties to Hamas and other terror groups, and half of them have families who are involved in these groups. Former UNRWA Deputy Chief Leni Stenseth is accused of visiting Yahya Sinwar, the mastermind of Oct. 7, to reaffirm her solidarity with him.

Neuer told the Committee he has evidence of a Telegram chat of 3,000 UNRWA teachers praising Oct. 7 and other terror attacks. 

The hearing also spent a lot of time focusing on what happens at UNRWA schools.

Marcus Sheff, CEO of IMPACT-se, said that the Palestinian Authority removed any discussion of peace from the curriculum, and “what remained was a curriculum centered on jihad.” 

Sheff said UNRWA didn’t have to accept the PA’s curriculum, but chose to do so.

Various experts on the panel detailed curriculum and sentiment from instructors teaching students to hate Israel and Jews.

Committee member Rep. Darrell Issa told Scripps News he supports dismantling the organization.

“I’m willing to scrap it," he said. “I’m not willing to give U.N. leadership the ability to build a new one. No expectation that there would be different people or different teaching. When you have 3,000 teachers agreeing to teach hate, you have a problem that was too broad.”

UNRWA provides an immense amount of aid to the Palestinian people, aid needed right now as the war rages. For that reason, Professor Mara Rudman says while shutting down the organization may be the correct strategy, it can’t be done quickly.

“It’s not gonna happen by flipping a switch,” she told members of Congress.

Some members of Congress and other experts say there are other organizations on the ground in Gaza that could utilize those funds instead.

SEE MORE: Here's where things stand on a potential Israel-Hamas hostage deal

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