26 State AGs Press Biden Admin To End All Funding for Hamas-Tied UNRWA

A coalition of 26 attorneys general from across the country are urging congressional leaders to stop all funding for the United Nations Palestinian aid group, after it was revealed that the employees of the organization helped Hamas launch an unprecedented attack against Israel.

The Washington Free Beacon obtained a copy. “It’s time for Congress stop funding this group that rapes and murders innocents and that has demonstrated that it is not willing, desirous, or able to stay away from antisemitism, or terrorism, but instead, to support humanitarian aid,” wrote the attorneys general in a Thursday letter to Republican and Democratic leadership in the House and Senate.

The funding for UNRWA, the largest humanitarian organization in Gaza, has come under scrutiny since Israeli intelligence agencies revealed last week that 12 employees of the agency were involved in Hamas’s Oct. 7, 2014 rampage in Israel which resulted in more than 1,200 Israelis being killed. Congress has already considered several measures to stop funding UNRWA by more than $1 billion. The letter from state attorneys general will likely add urgency to this effort.

The letter, written by Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird (R.), and South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson (R.), tells Congress that “there is absolutely no reason for Congress to fund terrorist organizations.” UNRWA has done this for some time. It’s obvious.


The Biden administration has temporarily suspended U.S. funding for UNRWA, pending an investigative report. However, the administration has also praised UNRWA’s efforts to provide relief in the war-torn Gaza, and indicated that funding may resume when public outrage subsides. The United States will award the organization at least $371 millions in additional funding throughout this year.

UNRWA is a failed experiment that has lasted for decades, and the state attorneys general claim there’s no reason to keep sending money in the wrong direction. The United States should stop paying financial contributions to UNRWA in the future, as well as those that are currently due.

Iowa’s Bird said in an interview with The Free Beacon that she organized the letter as a way to show how states all over the country were outraged by the Biden administration’s efforts to fund UNRWA. This began after the Democrat-led administration took office and reversed a Trump era freeze on U.S. donations to the aid organization.

Bird added that “state leaders are blowing the whistle to ensure the federal government does not fund [UNRWA] using our tax dollars.”

The letter was signed in Texas, Florida and Virginia. According to sources familiar with the situation, the New Hampshire attorney general was denied the right to sign the letter because of the opposition by the governor. Chris Sununu, a Republican who oversees the state office, is responsible for signing off on the letter.

The letter states that any humanitarian aid given to Gaza-based organizations must be subject to “rigorous third-party supervision that ensures staff are not affiliated with Hamas, or other terror groups, and that money is never passed to them under the table.”

Experts who testified in front of Congress this week said that UNRWA does not have to submit its employees, contractors or beneficiaries to counterterrorism screening.

Wilson, South Carolina’s Wilson who led the letter along with Bird, says that state officials can also examine other pressure points such as cutting off UNRWA USA, which is based in the United States, in addition to pressing federal lawmakers.

A coalition of international attorneys petitioned the IRS this week, urging it to investigate the possibility. They argued that UNRWA USA should lose its tax-exempt status due to the group’s Hamas connections.

Wilson, in an interview with the Free Beacon, said that this is a point of pressure that should be seriously considered. He also noted that there are other ways to finance humanitarian projects in Gaza Strip that do not support Hamas or its affiliates.

Wilson stated that it is a false dichotomy to say “If we don’t support UNRWA, then we are not supporting the people who suffer.” There are many ways that the U.S. and Israel can help those who suffer because of Hamas’ actions.