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John Kirby defends UNRWA after reports its facilities are being used by Hamas

“You can’t hold them accountable for the depredations of Hamas and the way Hamas uses civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, for command and control, for storage of weapons, for the holding of hostages,” he added.

When the reporter noted that the US gave UNRWA a billion dollars, Kirby replied, “They do good work in Gaza, and they are important to helping get the humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza. And we’re grateful for that work that they’re doing, very much in harm’s way.”

He added, “I will let them speak to whatever concerns they have over Hamas’s activities and the degree to which that they feel obligated to speak out or not.”

John Kirby: UNRWA does important work

White House National Security Council spokesman defends the work of UN agency for “Palestinian refugees” after reports its facilities are being used by Hamas.

Elad Benari

Elad Benari


  Jan 5, 2024, 6:11 AM (GMT+2)

Elad Benari

UNRWAJohn

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby on Thursday defended the work of UNRWA, the UN agency for “Palestinian refugees” after a reporter suggested the US should rethink its support for the UN agency in the wake of reportsthat its facilities are being used by Hamas terrorists.

“UNRWA does important work. In fact, they’re doing a lot of heavy lifting right now in terms of trying to get food, water, medicine to the people of Gaza, all up and down the Strip. They’re doing a lot of work, and they’re doing it in harm’s way — very much so in harm’s way,” said Kirby.

You can’t hold them accountable for the depredations of Hamas and the way Hamas uses civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, for command and control, for storage of weapons, for the holding of hostages,” he added.

When the reporter noted that the US gave UNRWA a billion dollars, Kirby replied, “They do good work in Gaza, and they are important to helping get the humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza. And we’re grateful for that work that they’re doing, very much in harm’s way.”

He added, “I will let them speak to whatever concerns they have over Hamas’s activities and the degree to which that they feel obligated to speak out or not.”

Created in 1949, UNRWA supplies aid to more than three million of the five million registered “Palestinian refugees” in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and territories assigned to the Palestinian Authority.

However, it is also notorious for its anti-Israel activities. During the 2014 counterterrorism Operation Protective Edge, Hamas rockets were discovered inside a school building run by UNRWA.

Likewise, a booby-trapped UNRWA clinic was detonated, killing three IDF soldiers. Aside from the massive amounts of explosives hidden in the walls of the clinic, it was revealed that it stood on top of dozens of terror tunnels, showing how UNRWA is closely embedded with Hamas.

More recently, it was discovered that a hostage kidnapped by Hamas to Gaza was held for 50 days in the attic of an UNRWA teacher.

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Last year, the US increased its financial support for UNRWA, reaching a record $223 million, an increase of $16 million on the previous year.

Under the Trump administration, the US cut a full $300 million in funding to the agency in 2018. The Biden administration, however, changed the policy and announced it intends to resume aid to UNRWA, as well as other aid to the Palestinian Authority which was suspended by the Trump administration.

https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/383105

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