Last week in this space we welcomed the news that the Biden Administration and Congress have reportedly reached an agreement continuing a pause in U.S. funding for UNWRA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees, the main UN aid agency for Palestinians. We also called for action to be taken against the notorious Pay To Slay policy of the Palestinian Authority which provides stipends through a special “martyr’s fund” to terrorists who commit acts of terrorism against Israel and to families of deceased terrorists.

Since last week, there were important developments on both issues.


Regarding the UNWRA: Prior to the pause, the U.S. had been its largest contributor to the tune of $300 million to $400 million annually. The pause – joined in by several other nations – came in the midst of allegations that some UNWRA personnel had participated in the Oct.7 massacre with the pause to continue pending an investigation by the U.S. and the UN.

While no definitive conclusions have been announced by either – although an extension of the ban by the U.S. would indicate that there is at least some substance to the charges – Israel has already charged that an interim report by the UN was a “cover up” and a transparent attempt to get the funding resumed. The UN report “found” that the agency has mechanisms in place to ensure UNWRA’s neutrality but also “deficiencies” that needed to be addressed. Israel has evidence that at least 10% of UNWRA’s employees have active ties to terror groups.

We had also suggested that UNWRA personnel participating in Hamas terror should not be surprising given the fact that UNWRA is responsible for most of the social, economic, public health and educational programs for Palestinians in Gaza. It would be inconceivable that they would not work hand in glove with Hamas as the controlling political and military authority there.

Significantly, the other day the Times of Israel also reported on the release of a comprehensive report by the watchdog agency IMPACT that documents the pivotal role UNWRA textbooks have played in radicalizing generation of Gazans.

Regarding Pay To Slay: Politico reports that the U.S. is near a deal with the PA for the latter to end “martyr payments” for people who commit acts of violence against Israel, citing two Biden administration officials. However, there have been many false starts like this in the past and though the PA is angling for a role in post-war Gaza, we fear this will more of the same without any meaningful proposals emerging. PA President has long used these payments to buy peace with the more violent of the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria and nothing has changed on the ground that would affect this.

Federal law prohibits U.S. aid to entities like the Palestinian Authority and UNWRA that fail to end their support for terror against Israel. So it’s simple. President Biden should just follow the money and the law.


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