Rothman: UNRWA has come ‘long way’


WASHINGTON (JTA) — UNRWA has come a "long way" in redressing gaps in how it spends its money in Palestinian areas, a top congressional critic said.

"UNRWA has revamped its vetting processes and mechanisms, firing more than 100 employees over the past 10 years that have been found to violate U.S. and U.N. policies regarding associating with Hamas or other terrorist groups," said U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.), a leader of congressional demands of more accountability for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, the principal body administering assistance to Palestinian refugees. "In addition, lists of UNRWA’s employees and beneficiaries are now being crosschecked for terrorist connections by both the U.S. and Israel. 

"I am encouraged by these improvements, but I will continue to make certain that not one cent of U.S. taxpayer dollars provided to UNRWA is redirected to terrorists or to activities that support terror or promote a culture of hatred."

Rothman released his assessment Oct. 22, a week after meeting with John Ging, who heads UNRWA’s operation in the Gaza Strip.

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