U.S. Suspends Funding to U.N. Agency After Learning Staff Allegedly Involved in October 7 Attack

The U.S. announced that it is suspending funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) following allegations that the agency’s staff was involved in the October 7 attacks against Israel.

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said the allegations leave the United States “extremely troubled.”

“The United States is extremely troubled by the allegations that twelve UNRWA employees may have been involved in the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel,” he said. “The Department of State has temporarily paused additional funding for UNRWA while we review these allegations and the steps the United Nations is taking to address them.”

“Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke with United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on January 25 to emphasize the necessity of a thorough and swift investigation of this matter. We welcome the decision to conduct such an investigation and Secretary General Guterres’ pledge to take decisive action to respond, should the allegations prove accurate. We also welcome the UN’s announcement of a ‘comprehensive and independent’ review of UNRWA. There must be complete accountability for anyone who participated in the heinous attacks of October 7,” the statement continued.

According to Jewish Insider, the U.N. agency removed 12 employees allegedly connected to the event.

UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said, “The Israeli Authorities have provided UNRWA with information about the alleged involvement of several UNRWA employees in the horrific attacks on Israel on 7 October.”

“To protect the Agency’s ability to deliver humanitarian assistance, I have taken the decision to immediately terminate the contracts of these staff members and launch an investigation in order to establish the truth without delay. Any UNRWA employee who was involved in acts of terror will be held accountable, including through criminal prosecution.”

“UNRWA reiterates its condemnation in the strongest possible terms of the abhorrent attacks of 7 October and calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all Israeli hostages and their safe return to their families,” he stated. “These shocking allegations come as more than 2 million people in Gaza depend on lifesaving assistance that the Agency has been providing since the war began. Anyone who betrays the fundamental values of the United Nations also betrays those whom we serve in Gaza, across the region and elsewhere around the world.”

Rep. Mike Waltz (R-FL) called for the U.S. to “pause all funding to the UNRWA.”

“Last month I sent a letter to the UN urging them to investigate these claims,” he wrote on X. “This rot is deep and the U.S. should immediately pause all funding to UNRWA until an independent investigation is carried out.”

Waltz wrote a letter in November to U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, explaining that he was “appalled” to learn that “Israeli hostages were held in Gaza by at least one teacher working for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).”

The letter, obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, described that news reports claimed that “teachers and other educational staff of UNRWA staff, among others, praised Hamas’s terrorism on October 7, calling it (among other things) an ‘unforgettable glorious morning’ and a ‘splendid sight!'”

“[T]hese actions indicate a broader problem of UN officials and their complicity with these atrocities,” Waltz wrote, adding that the reports suggest a “deep radicalization of the Palestinian population beyond Hamas members, which appears to have little appetite or interest for living in peace with Israelis.”

“I urge you in the strongest possible terms to investigate these allegations that UNRWA educational personnel were complicit in the hostage taking. If so, a fundamental change needs to be made at the UN and in UNRWA specifically,” the letter concluded.