A dozen Home lawmakers from each events are calling on Secretary of State Antony Blinken to demand the resignation of the pinnacle of the United Nations and the chief of its Palestinian refugee company following allegations that 12 workers participated in Hamas’s Oct. 7 assault on Israel.
In a letter to Blinken despatched Wednesday, the lawmakers referred to as for the resignation of Secretary-Normal António Guterres and UNRWA Commissioner-Normal Philippe Lazzarini.
The lawmakers additionally raised issues over reviews of Israeli intelligence assessments that 10 % of UNRWA’s 13,000 workers in Gaza — nearly all of whom are domestically employed — have ties to Hamas, a delegated terrorist group in the USA.
“They’ll not be entrusted to keep up worldwide peace and safety, shield all nations, and uphold worldwide regulation,” the lawmakers wrote.
“We’ve got misplaced all confidence in Secretary-Normal António Guterres’ capacity to make sure that the U.N. just isn’t actively supporting terrorism or giving refuge to identified terrorists.”
The signatories embrace Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), Don Bacon (R-Neb.), Anthony D’Esposito (R-N.Y.), Don Davis (D-N.C.), Brian Mast (R-Fla.), Max Miller (R-Ohio), Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.), Brad Schneider (D-Unwell.), Michelle Metal (R-Calif.), Haley Stevens (D-Mich.), Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.), and Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.).
Hamas killed 1,200 folks in southern Israel within the Oct. 7 bloodbath, with civilians making up nearly all of the victims. Greater than 240 folks have been taken hostage, and greater than 100 are nonetheless in captivity. Brutal atrocities have been alleged, from rapes to the killings of defenseless girls and youngsters.
The Biden administration paused funding for UNRWA within the wake of the group saying it was launching an investigation into the allegations.
Almost a dozen different nations have additionally paused funding for the company, triggering dire warnings that UNRWA — which additionally serves Palestinian refugee populations throughout Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and the West Financial institution — will run out of funds for operations by March 1.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is among the many members of Congress who’ve decried the pause in U.S. funding for UNRWA, arguing it might worsen a humanitarian disaster and that the folks of Gaza shouldn’t be punished for allegations in opposition to a small variety of the group’s workers.
However UNRWA has lengthy been a lightning rod for controversy amongst Israel’s supporters, who criticize the help company’s work within the Gaza Strip as, a minimum of, working underneath the affect of Hamas, the de-facto authorities of the territory.
UNRWA stated it maintains a strict coverage of “neutrality,” however acknowledges difficult circumstances in Gaza due to Hamas’s rule. The United Nations has launched an unbiased overview of how the company ensures its coverage of “neutrality” and what processes are in place to reply to situations of coverage violations.
Whereas Republicans are united in opposition to UNRWA’s continued operations, some Democrats have referred to as for resuming funding to the help group as Israel’s battle in Gaza in opposition to Hamas goes into its fifth month.
They are saying the help group is greatest positioned to reply to speedy wants to assist present shelter, meals, water and medication to the practically 2 million folks in want.
Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This materials is probably not revealed, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.