Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., called for an investigation into the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) after reports that an Israeli hostage was held in the attic of a teacher employed by the agency.
Israel's Channel 13 journalist Almog Boker last week posted on X that one of the freed Israeli hostages said he had been detained in an attic for nearly 50 days by a UNRWA teacher.
The Jerusalem Post on Sunday reported that UNRWA claimed that what Boker wrote about is "unsubstantiated."
Blackburn on Monday said she wants answers.
"An @UNRWA employee allegedly aided Hamas in detaining and keeping an Israeli citizen hostage," Blackburn posted on X. "I'm calling for an immediate investigation into this corrupt agency. The U.S. will not be complicit in propping up Hamas' terrorism."
Blackburn wrote U.N. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield and Philippe Lazzarini, commissioner-general of the UNRWA, to demand a probe into the organization over the alleged actions.
"These allegations hardly come as a surprise given UNRWA's history of antisemitism," Blackburn wrote in her letter. "Prior reporting indicates that UNRWA has employed individuals affiliated with Hamas, including graduating at least 100 Hamas terrorists from its schools. UNRWA facilities have been used to store weapons and as part of terrorist operations.
"Following the October 7 terror attacks against Israel, certain UNRWA staffers immediately celebrated and justified Hamas' actions. We also know that for over a decade, Hamas has stolen aid from the UNRWA intended for the Palestinian people, including fuel and medical equipment following the October 7 attacks."
Boker's X post also said another hostage reportedly was held by a Gazan doctor "who, simultaneously, cared for [Palestinian] children."
"The United States will not be complicit in propping up Hamas' terrorism, and this report further proves why deep change is necessary within UNRWA before we even consider providing another dollar to the agency," Blackburn wrote.
"Additionally, it is deeply concerning that, despite the prevalence of these reports, the United Nations has seemingly done nothing to investigate or prevent the siphoning of UNRWA funding by terrorists. And UNRWA continues to double down on its claims that each subsequent, documented report is 'unsubstantiated.'"
Charlie McCarthy ✉
Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.
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