January 26, 2024

Ricketts, Scott Call for Permanent Ban of U.S. UNRWA Funding Following News Staff was Involved in Hamas Attack

January 26, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today, U.S. Senators Pete Ricketts (R-NE) and Tim Scott (R-SC) called for passage of their Stop Support for Hamas Act to enact a permanent ban on U.S. funding for United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) following the announcement UNRWA staff was involved in Hamas’ October 7th attack on Israel.

“Today’s news further underscores that UNRWA is an irredeemable organization that plays a critical role in Hamas’ terrorist infrastructure,” Ricketts said. “Biden should have never reversed the Trump administration’s decision to cut off U.S. support of UNRWA, and the State Department’s decision today to pause additional funding is not enough. We must pass the Stop Support for Hamas Act to end U.S. funding for UNRWA once and for all.” 

“UNRWA’s despicable history of antisemitism is why I’ve consistently called to end U.S. funding of UNRWA,” Scott said. “Allegations its staff played a role in attacking and kidnapping Israelis take this to a horrifying new level. This organization should never receive another penny of U.S. funding.”

The Ricketts-Scott Stop Support for Hamas Act would:

  • Cut off contributions for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which has been described as “effectively a branch of Hamas;”
  • Freeze Economic Support Funds (ESF) to Gaza and the West Bank until Israel has verifiably dismantled the terrorist infrastructure of Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza;
  • Strengthen certification requirements under the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006 to ensure that no ministry, agency or instrumentality of the Palestinian Authority (PA) employs members, agents or affiliates of Hamas;
  • Ensure any U.S. assistance to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) operating in Gaza and the West Bank does not benefit Hamas or any other terrorist organization; and
  • Strengthen Taylor Force Act provisions to prevent any U.S. funding that directly or indirectly benefits the PA until it ends its “pay for slay” program.

More information about the bill is available here