Congressman Brian Higgins (NY) and Representative Doug Collins (GA) on Tuesday led a bipartisan effort in writing to Secretary of State John Kerry regarding the use of United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) facilities to maintain rocket stockpiles during the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
In the letter, Higgins and Collins urge the State Department to conduct an independent investigation to uncover the extent to which UNRWA facilities are being misused in Gaza.
No fewer than three UNRWA schools were found, during the course of Israel’s 50-day Operation Protective Edge, to be serving for storage of rockets for the terrorist organizations Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
After the first finding of rockets at an UNRWA school, it was reported that rather than destroying the rockets, UNRWA workers called Hamas to come remove them to use in their terror war on Israeli civilians.
In another incident, three IDF soldiers were killed and seven others wounded in a booby-trapped UN clinic that was situated on top of terror tunnel entrances, showing the complicity of the UN in Gaza-based terror against Israel.
“As a major recipient of U.S. tax dollars, UNRWA must take more robust measures to ensure its facilities are not being used to facilitate terrorism,” said Congressman Higgins in a statement Tuesday.
“I urge the State Department to take the appropriate and necessary action.”
Congressman Doug Collins said, “The resources of the international community, especially those provided by the United States, simply cannot be used in any way to further terrorism. We’re very concerned about these reports and expect a conclusive State Department investigation as soon as possible.”
The letter, which has 67 signatures, stresses that UNRWA should do more to prevent its facilities from being used to endanger the lives of civilians and commit acts of terrorism.
In addition to requesting an investigation, the lawmakers call for more thorough screening of staff for membership in Hamas and Hezbollah and increased inspections of UNRWA facilities to ensure they are being used as intended.
During the course of the Israeli operation, it was Israel that was criticized, both by the UN and the U.S., for attacking UNRWA facilities. Washington called one strike on terrorists operating adjacent to a UN school "disgraceful."
The IDF reported that terrorists in several cases fired rockets from the schools, prompting the response.