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Risch, Ricketts, Tim Scott Lead 21 Colleagues in Demanding Supplemental Bill Ban U.S. Aid to UNRWA Given Hamas Ties

WASHINGTON U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) led a group of 21 Republican senators to demand the national security supplemental bill include “an immediate and permanent prohibition” of U.S. aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

The letter to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell follows last week’s revelation that 12 UNRWA staff were directly involved in the October 7th attack on Israel and Wall Street Journal reporting that around 10% of UNRWA’s staff have ties to Islamic militant groups.

“Let us be crystal clear: last week’s revelation that UNRWA staff members played a part in the October 7 attacks is not an example of a few bad apples acting out of turn,” the senators wrote. “Instead, it is emblematic of an organization where no investigation or subsequent corrective measures will ever be enough to cure the rot that is so clearly endemic to its mission.”

“The United States must permanently stop all contributions to UNRWA,” the senators closed. “Senate Republicans have introduced several bills this Congress to do just that, including the UNRWA Accountability and Transparency Act. As we consider ways to provide necessary assistance to Israel in its fight against Hamas terrorists, we request that any supplemental package include an immediate and permanent prohibition against U.S. contributions to UNRWA.”

In addition to Risch, Ricketts, and Tim Scott, other signatories include Senators Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Katie Boyd Britt (R-Ala.), Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), and Susan Collins (R-Maine).

A copy of the letter can be found here.