AOC Defends UNRWA Despite Link to Hamas Attack

( – The Biden administration’s decision to suspend funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has sparked a heated debate, drawing criticism from far-left Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

On Monday, Jan. 29, Ocasio-Cortez voiced her disapproval on social media, condemning the move to cut off support to UNRWA, the primary source of humanitarian aid for over two million Gazans. Her comments were prompted by the Biden administration’s decision on Friday, following revelations that UNRWA workers had been involved in the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attack against Israel.

In a tweet, Ocasio-Cortez expressed her disapproval, stating that deeming the cutting off of support to UNRWA, the primary source of humanitarian aid to over two million Gazans, as unacceptable. She argued that jeopardizing the well-being of millions over allegations against a small number of aid workers was indefensible, and she called for the immediate restoration of aid.

In contrast, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby defended UNRWA’s broader contributions, emphasizing its crucial work across the region, particularly in Gaza, where it has saved thousands of lives. Kirby cautioned against condemning the entire agency for the actions of a few employees facing serious allegations.

Simultaneously, the Wall Street Journal reported that Israeli intelligence revealed the involvement of 12 UNRWA employees in the Hamas assault, along with connections between approximately 10% of the agency’s staff and Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Furthermore, half of the 12,000-strong cohort reportedly have close relatives associated with either group.

Former President Donald Trump halted funding for UNRWA in 2018, a decision President Biden reversed upon taking office in 2021. Since then, the U.S. has provided at least $730 million to the group despite evidence of educators within UNRWA promoting hatred of Israel.

Critics, including podcast host Noam Blum and Newsweek opinion editor Batya Ungar-Sargon, criticized Ocasio-Cortez for her stance, highlighting the alleged ties of UNRWA employees to terrorist organizations. Former U.S. Representative Joe Walsh called for the disbandment of the organization, emphasizing pervasive support for Hamas within UNRWA.

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