Media Contact 202-226-8467

College Station, TX – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul has released the following statement in response to reports that United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) employees were complicit in Hamas’ October 7th attacks in Israel that left more than 1,200 people dead and resulted in more than 240 people taken hostage. Chairman McCaul, along with Oversight and Accountability Subcommittee Chairman Brian Mast (R-FL) and other committee members recently requested Mr. Lazzarini, the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, appear before the committee to respond to widespread allegations of corruption and bias against Israel. Next Tuesday, the Oversight and Accountability and Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations Subcommittees will hold a hearing entitled, “UNRWA Exposed: Examining the Agency’s Mission and Failures,” to look into actions by UNRWA.

“I am appalled–but unfortunately not surprised–that UNRWA employees were involved in Hamas’ October 7th massacre. For years there has been extensive evidence that UNRWA is not a neutral arbiter, and that their anti-Israel bias is widespread and systemic. Yet the Biden administration inexplicably re-started funding the organization in 2021.

“I strongly support the decision to once again suspend U.S. funding. Any UNRWA employee found to be involved in acts of terrorism or violence must be terminated from any current or future UN employment and held accountable under the law. A full accounting of UNRWA’s complicity in the October 7th attack, as with all instances of terrorism, is urgently needed, as I have been pressing since November. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to conduct robust oversight of UNRWA’s actions and the Biden administration’s decision to re-start funding to UNRWA in 2021.”