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Waste of the Day: U.S. Sent $1.2 Billion to Hamas-Backed UN agency

The United States government has sent $1.2 billion to UNRWA, a UN agency with the backing of HAMAS, which cooperates with it.

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Topline: The U.S. government has given $1.2 billion to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency since April 2021, according to a report from

UNRWA exists to provide humanitarian support for Palestinian refugees. But 10% of the agency’s employees are believed to have connections to the terrorist group Hamas, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report.

At least 12 employees were directly involved in the Oct. 7 attacks against Israel, including one teacher who allegedly kept a hostage in his attic for 50 days.

Waste of the Day: U.S. Sent $1.2 Billion to Hamas-Backed UN agency
Waste of the Day 3.1.24 by Open the Books

Key facts: U.S. taxpayers have spent over $8 billion to help Palestinian refugees since 1950, OpenTheBooks found.

The U.S. has provided almost one-third of UNRWA’s total funding, more than any other country. President Barack Obama’s administration spent more than any other president, with annual payments reaching nearly $400 million.

Former President Donald Trump cut all aid to UNRWA for the first time in 71 years because of concerns it could support Hamas and the Palestinian Liberation Organization, which used funds to support the families of dead terrorists.


President Joe Biden restarted U.S. support in 2021 and spent over $300 million each year. Biden said at the time that providing balanced support to both Israel and Palestine was the best way to work toward a two-state solution.

But concerns were expressed as early as 2014 that UNRWA was “effectively a branch of Hamas.”

Even after Oct. 7, the Biden administration sent another $121 million in Palestinian aid to UNRWA. Funding did not stop until this January.

A Biden-backed bill moving through Congress would redirect UNRWA funding toward other humanitarian groups in Gaza.

Critical quote: Ethan Mayer-Rich of the Arab Center Washington D.C. opposed the U.S.’s recent decision to pause UNRWA funding.


“We’re seeing a pretty quick departure from what used to be a split down party lines,” he said. “It’s reckless, and ultimately I think history is going to see [the U.S.] as being completely complicit in what is unquestionably an incredibly tragic and dire situation.”

Supporting quote: Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) wants the U.S. to permanently end UNRWA funding, not just temporarily pause it.

“Weapons have been found in UNRWA schools. Hamas tunnels have been found adjacent to UNRWA facilities. Hamas has stolen $1 million in UNRWA supplies since October 7, while UNRWA facilities may have been used to hold hostages,” Issa said in a letter obtained by the New York Post. “UNRWA has also faced longstanding criticism over its educational programing which indoctrinates Palestinian youth in antisemitism and terror.”

Summary: Concerns have long existed that the $1.2 billion the U.S. sent to UNRWA since 2021 could be used to fund terrorist activities. Tragically, those concerns appear to have been borne out.

The #WasteOfTheDay is brought to you by the forensic auditors at


This article was originally published by RealClearInvestigations and made available via RealClearWire.

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Adam Andrzejewski (say: Angie-eff-ski) is the CEO/founder of Before dedicating his life to public service, Adam co-founded HomePages Directories, a $20 million publishing company (1997-2007). His works have been featured on the BBC, Good Morning America, ABC World News Tonight, C-SPAN, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, FOX News, CNN, National Public Radio (NPR), Forbes, Newsweek, and many other national media.

Today, is the largest private repository of U.S. public-sector spending. Mission: post "every dime, online, in real time." In 2022, captured nearly all public expenditures in the country, including nearly all disclosed federal government spending; 50 of 50 state checkbooks; and 25 million public employee salary and pension records from 50,000 public bodies across America.

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In 2022, Andrzejewski did 473 live television and radio interviews across broadcast, major cable platforms, and radio shows. Andrzejewski is the author of The Waste of the Day column at Real Clear Policy. The column is syndicated by Sinclair Broadcast Group, owners of nearly 200 ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX affiliates across USA.

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