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Progressives Urge Biden to Revoke Suspension of Funding for Palestinian Relief

Progressives Urge Biden to Revoke Suspension of Funding for Palestinian Relief
Credits: Wisconsin Muslim Journal

Progressive lawmakers and humanitarian aid groups are urging the Biden administration to reinstate funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) following accusations that a dozen of its members were involved in the October 7 attack by Hamas on Israeli soil.

Israel accused these UNRWA employees of participating in abductions and killings during the attack, leading top donors, including the U.S. and Germany, to suspend funding until the investigation concludes.

This funding pause has raised concerns among progressives and advocates for humanitarian conditions in Gaza, emphasizing that a prolonged interruption could have catastrophic consequences for millions relying on UNRWA’s assistance. The U.S. has contributed nearly $1 billion to the agency in the past three years, with $296 million allocated in 2023 alone.

Progressives Urge Biden to Revoke Suspension of Funding for Palestinian Relief

Sen. Bernie Sanders (Credits:

Senator Bernie Sanders criticized the Biden administration’s decision to halt funding, emphasizing the need to investigate the allegations against the accused UNRWA employees while highlighting the humanitarian impact on millions if funding is not restored.

Representative Rashida Tlaib also expressed concern, questioning the decision to suspend aid based on allegations without a thorough investigation, especially considering the Israeli government’s history of using torture.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called the suspension of support to UNRWA, the primary source of humanitarian aid for the 2.3 million people in the Gaza Strip, “unacceptable” and urged the U.S. to restore aid immediately.

The National Security Council spokesperson, John Kirby, called for an investigation into the allegations against UNRWA employees involved in the October 7 attacks and emphasized that the entire agency should not be held responsible for the actions of a few. The U.S. contributions to UNRWA will remain suspended pending the investigation’s results.

Humanitarian aid organizations, including Save the Children, ActionAid, and Oxfam, have voiced concerns about the potential impact of the funding suspension on Gaza and have signed a letter urging countries to reverse the funding suspensions.

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