(WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, will appear on Special Report w/ Bret Baier between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Friday in a previously taped segment. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“Americans are shocked to learn that hundreds of millions of their tax dollars are being jeopardized by the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). UNRWA works with financial institutions involved in extremist financing. It has also admitted to employing Islamist militants, yet refuses to take steps to prevent this from happening again. Nor does UNRWA make efforts to protect money and goods from being stolen by Hamas, which controls Gaza.
“It is time to be upfront with the American people about what is happening here: their hard-earned money is being funneled to Islamist militants.
“The Administration must pull its $900 million pledge for Gaza and the Palestinian Authority, which includes significant funding for UNRWA.
Background: UNRWA’s website solicits donations for its “Special Gaza Appeal,” and directs donors to send money to accounts with the Commercial Bank of Syria, which the U.S. Department of the Treasury has designated as a “primary money laundering concern,” and with the Arab Bank, which is reportedly under investigation by the U.S. Government for financing Palestinian militant groups. Treasury also states that the Commercial Bank “has been used by terrorists to move their money and it continues to afford direct opportunities for the Syrian government to facilitate international terrorist activity and money laundering.” The Arab Bank was reportedly fined $24 million for extremist financing in 2005.