Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) has demanded an investigation into accusations that an UNRWA employee held one of the hostages who were kidnapped by Hamas on October 7, Fox News reported.
In a letter to US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield and UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini, Sen. Blackburn wrote: "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."
She added: "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.’"
On November 29, Israeli Channel 13 News correspondent Almog Boker reported that one of the hostages was held for 50 days in the attic of an UNRWA teacher.
"Uninvolved," they say, right? Well, read this story carefully. One of the abductees, held for nearly 50 days in an attic, reveals he was held by a UNRA teacher – a father of ten children. This teacher locked the victim away, barely provided food, and neglected medical needs," Boker wrote on X (Formerly Twitter).
"But wait, there's more! Another abductee was held captive by a Gazan doctor who, simultaneously, cared for children. These are not isolated incidents; these civilians are terrorists. Present at the Saturday massacre, they're now revealed as integral to holding hundreds captive, including women and children," he added.
UNRWA, the United Nations agency dedicated to the descendants of the Arab refugees from Israel's War of Independence, has frequently been criticized for its connections to the Hamas terrorist organization and the extreme antisemitism of many of its employees, including teachers. Its curricula and summer camps teach children to want to kill Israelis.