Why is the U.S. Funding Terrorism?

Why is the U.S. Funding Terrorism?

© David Burton 2016

Funding Terrorism

     The United States, the United Nations, and European Union countries are funding Islamic jihadist terrorism.

     “The 1988 Hamas Charter explicitly commits the Palestinian terror group to murdering Jews. Thanks to the formation this week of an interim government uniting Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, which the U.S. supports to the tune of more than $400 million a year, the American taxpayer may soon become an indirect party to that enterprise.” (Ref. 1)

     On 23 April 2014, Fatah, part of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas signed a reconciliation agreement, which was supposed to see a unity government formed within five weeks, followed by presidential and parliamentary elections within 6 months. Remember, Hamas has been designated as a terrorist organization by just about everyone. The announcement heralded still one more example of well-meaning but naively blind countries contributing financially to Islamic terror.

     “The Palestinian Authority's announcement that it will send 3,000 police officers to Gaza as part of a unity agreement with Hamas could mean U.S. taxpayers are now at least indirectly helping an officially designated terror organization maintain law and order -- and its grip on power.” (Ref. 2)

     “The United States government is funding the radical Islamic terrorist group Hamas. That’s the conclusion of a Wall Street Journal report that looks into the formation of a new interim coalition government that brings Hamas and the Palestinian Authority back together after several years of conflict.
     “The United States supports the Palestinian Authority with over $400 million annually, even though U.S. law forbids taxpayer support of any group heavily influenced by Hamas, which the State Department designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997. It is difficult to believe–impossible, really–that not a penny of that money will get into the hands of the radical militants currently firing rockets at civilians in Israel from behind human shields in Gaza.” (Ref. 3)

     Following the Hamas-Israel fighting in Gaza during the summer of 2014, “a group of international donors including the United States gathered in Cairo to make pledges to give financial aid to help rebuild Gaza in the wake of the war between Israel and Hamas this past summer. The amount pledged totaled $5.4 billion with the U.S. kicking in a few hundred million. . . . But while the world was told that all the money would be used for civilian purposes and to help those who lost their homes in the fighting, there was little doubt that the Hamas rulers of the strip would wind up getting their hands on a good deal of it. But the most curious thing about this exercise in international philanthropy was that no one thought to ask Hamas to pay for at least some of the damage they caused by igniting a bloody war. That’s the question that comes to mind today when you read that the Islamists have been named the world’s second-richest terrorist group.
      - - -
     “Hamas has no oil fields or banks at its disposal. But it has something almost as good: An overpopulated strip of land where more than a million people live at their misery. Though Hamas long maintained an image as an efficient provider of social services to the people of Gaza, the reality is that it is—like its Fatah rivals in the West Bank—more akin to a mafia family than a government and rakes in money extorted or taxed from Gazans hand over fist. Hamas also profited handsomely from control of the smuggling tunnels that used to link Gaza to Egypt and also rakes in huge amounts of aid from its Gulf State patrons like Qatar.
      - - -
     “. . . {The West} has chosen to tolerate Hamas and let it remain in control of Gaza, even if it meant condemning a large civilian population to be used as human shields for its terror operations. And it has been allowed to save or re-invest its considerable fortune in rearming its cadres and rebuilding its defenses in the aftermath of the terrorist war it launched this year.
     “The world looks at the ruined homes of Gaza and rightly expresses its sympathy and its desire to help its people. But the problem with the international aid process is not merely that it is not likely to keep all of the billions coming in out of the clutches of Hamas. It is that so long as we are prepared to tolerate Hamas’s continued sovereignty over the independent Palestinian state in all but name in Gaza, more war and bloodshed is likely to ensue. . . . In the absence of a commitment to overthrow Hamas, money donated to Gaza is an investment in future war, not peace or humanitarian values. Its place on the list of wealthiest terror groups mocks the West as much as it does the Palestinians who suffer under their rule.” (Ref. 4)

     While Hamas controls Gaza, it obstructs the delivery of aid to the ordinary people who live there and who suffer as a result of Hamas attacks on Israel and the diversion of humanitarian aid to Hamas operatives and to Hamas’ arms buildup.

     “. . .{T}he coordinator of {Israeli} government activities in the territories, accused Hamas for preventing the establishment of direct trade ties between Israel and Gaza.
      - - -
     ". . . ‘Hamas reaches out to Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood and uses reconstruction supplies to create a new balance of terror, in spite of the distress felt by the people of the Strip, many of whom sleep under a temporary roof.’
     “{He} pointed out that, ‘Israel wants to rebuild the Strip and improve the conditions of those who live there, but every action by Hamas against Israel leads to a response and a deterioration of the situation.
     " ‘Hamas presents Israel with severe obstacles in creating direct, vibrant commerce with the Palestinian Authority, its representatives in Gaza, and with the Palestinian people,’ . . .
     “{The Israeli coordinator} presented . . . figures claiming that every day 550 trucks enter Gaza to transport goods like fabric, natural gas, and other products. The Strip also received 65 thousand tons of cement and more than 45,000 residents already purchased the material to rebuild their homes.
     “However, Israeli news site Ynet revealed several weeks ago, some of the cement makes its way to Hamas' hands, as part of a black market.
     “. . . Hamas prevents the reconstruction by collecting taxes and violently taking building supplies in order to rebuild its terror tunnels.
     “According to {Israel}, ‘Under current conditions in the Strip, in which Hamas tries to 'eat up' as much of the goods entering the Strip and collecting large taxes intended for its terror regime, passage will be permitted only in coordination with the State of Israel in order to prevent terrorists from attacking Israel.’ “(Ref. 5)

     Why not let the United Nations (U.N.) handle the problem of providing humanitarian aid to the Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank? Answer: Because the U.N. is not impartial in its dealings with Israel, the Arabs, Muslims, and the Palestinians.

     The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) once again came into the world’s headlines during the summer of 2014 when it was revealed that its schools were stockpiling Hamas rockets. In Gaza and elsewhere in the Middle East, UNRWA actually functions as a large Palestinian Arab organization with a smattering of foreign supervisory staff - and those foreign staffers tend to leave during a conflict. Since its establishment in 1950, UNRWA has administered the biggest welfare state in the world. It is the only U.N. relief agency that has not provided temporary aid. Instead, it has existed for more than six decades, fostering hate and resentment against Jews and Israel, while permanently keeping its wards in refugee camps instead of working to relocate them and to end their status as refugees. In Gaza, UNRWA classifies 80% of the residents there as “refugees” and subsequently oversees perhaps the biggest welfare state in the world on their behalf.

     “UNRWA is the biggest employer in the West Bank and Gaza after the Palestinian Authority and the vast majority of its employees are ‘locally recruited’. Varying figures place the share of local employees at between 90 and 99 percent.” (Ref. 6)

     UNRWA runs 245 schools in Gaza and employs over 10,000 education staffers in Gaza.[6]

     “Hamas control over the UNRWA in Gaza is reflected in the schools which promote Islamic terrorism. UNRWA schools have become flashpoints in conflicts between Israel and Hamas because the UNRWA schools are Hamas bases of recruitment and operation.
      - - -
     {During the 2014 fighting, UNRWA suddenly discovered} ” Hamas rockets in three of its schools. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg because every UNRWA school is a Hamas school.
     “{Then} UNRWA . . . admitted that Hamas uses its schools to store rockets. It admits that it has Hamas members in its ranks. It admits that rockets have been fired ‘into Israel from the vicinity of UN facilities and residential areas.’
     “What it refuses to admit is that it should in any way be held accountable for functioning as an arm of a terrorist organization.
      - - -
     “Hamas use of the UNRWA as its public face is a war crime, but terrorists commit war crimes without a second thought. The UN and the UNRWA however are complicit in the war crime by allowing Hamas to go on exploiting the UN brand.
     “Hamas is listed as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. It’s against the law for the United States to fund it. By funding the UNRWA, the United States is paying Hamas and participating in its war crimes. Using civilian and humanitarian facilities for military purposes is a war crime. Using them to stage attacks against civilians by attackers out of uniform adds further crimes to the total.
     “The United States provided $130 million to the UNRWA in 2013 {elsewhere reported as $300 million in 2013}[7]}. The UNRWA’s operations in Gaza would not be viable without that money. [Emphasis mine] {NOTE: The United States government is UNRWA's largest single-country donor.}
      - - -
     “The original ‘refugees’ that the UNRWA was set up to cater to are for the most part dead. The UNRWA has become another UN boondoggle funding a welfare state for “refugee camps” that are older, bigger and more developed than many Middle Eastern cities.” (Ref. 6)

     In stark contrast, the million or so Jews that were forced out of Arab countries simply because they were Jews after 1948 were never wards of the U.N. They were quickly and efficiently absorbed into the State of Israel without any financial burden being placed upon the international community. Their status as refugees was short-lived and ended within a few years.

     But, nearly 7 decades later, and with no end in sight, Arab “refugees” - many of whom left Israel of their own volition despite the urging of David Ben Gurion to stay and be part of the newly created nation - along their descendants, are still being classified as “refugees”. The international community, not their Arab brethren, provide the money to support them. Aside from Jordan, no Arab country to this day will allow them to immigrate and become citizens of their nation.

     “UNRWA staff act as terrorists when they use UNRWA facilities for military purposes, but then switch back to UNRWA when Israel fights back. Hamas carries out attacks. The UNRWA demands ceasefires. Hamas uses UNRWA schools and the UNRWA denounces Israel when an attack happens.
      - - -
     “The United States should not be in the business of funding the corruption of young minds. Money should not be taken from American schools to fund the spread of hatred and terrorism.” (Ref. 6)

     Even Palestinians recognize the senseless continuation of UNRWA. “Bassam Eid, a prominent Palestinian human rights activist, has issued an urgent plea for a serious overhaul of UNRWA, the UN agency tasked with caring for the Palestinian refugees of the 1948 war in which Arab armies failed to prevent the creation of the State of Israel.
     “Eid, the Director of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, . . . addressed a meeting at the British parliament, entitled ‘Perpetuating Statelessness? UNRWA, Its Activities and Funding.’ In that presentation, Eid, who was raised in the UNRWA refugee camp in Shu’afat, east of Jerusalem, harshly criticized the agency for perpetuating the plight of the refugees as well as for its political relationship with Hamas. [Emphasis mine]
     “{Eid has stated that,} ‘Sixty-six years after it was created, UNRWA is still promising Palestinians that they will return to their homeland,’ ‘In my opinion, causing five million Palestinian refugees to suffer more and more under the umbrella of the ‘right of return’ is a war crime. They are being used as pawns in a war strategy.’
     “{Eid said,} ‘As a refugee, I want to see UNRWA submitting audited reports to donor countries. . . . I want UNRWA to present to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees a plan for the permanent resettlement of the Palestinian refugees. And I want UNRWA to abolish the curriculum they teach in their schools, which promotes war and terror and jihad.” [Emphasis mine]
     “Eid is particularly concerned by UNRWA’s relationship with Hamas, advocating that all UNRWA employees with Hamas ties be dismissed from their posts. [Emphasis mine] ‘During the war in Gaza over the summer, it was well known that Hamas was hiding rockets in UNRWA schools,’ Eid said. ‘So what did UNRWA do? They called Hamas on the phone and said, ‘please come and collect your rockets.’ This by itself shows the degree of cooperation between them.’
     “Donor countries also need to exercise greater scrutiny over UNRWA’s financing and operations. [Emphasis mine] ‘The donor countries are keeping a blind eye on UNRWA’s activities,’ Eid asserted. ‘This gives the impression that UNRWA is running its own state with its own foreign policy. UNRWA needs to understand that it is just a small agency that belongs to the UN.’
     “Eid said that it is unclear exactly how many Palestinian refugees there are in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as neighboring countries, because UNWRA has not carried out a census in the camps for more than two decades. [Emphasis mine]
     “Eid continued: ‘. . . So on what figures is UNRWA basing its requests for funds? Do the contributing countries have any idea of what they are contributing to?’
     “. . . {First,} UNRWA’s mission {should be focused} away from the ‘right of return’ – a demand that is incompatible with the international commitment to a two-state solution, since an influx of the descendants of the original Palestinian refugees would end Israel’s existence as a sovereign Jewish state . . .
     “{Next}, ’UNRWA needs to apologize for six decades of false promises,’ Eid said. “Then it needs to concentrate on building permanent neighborhoods for the refugees, to remove them from the miserable situation that prevails in the refugee camps.’ “ (Ref. 7)

     It’s not just UNRWA that is anti-Israel. Time and again, the U.N. itself has proven itself to be biased against the State of Israel and unqualified to be an honest broker in the war against Islamic terrorism as it pertains to Israel.

     “An alien observing the United Nations' debates, reading its resolutions, and walking its halls could well conclude that a principal purpose of the world body is to censure a tiny country called Israel.
    - - -
     “The anti-Israel apparatus within the UN, therefore, is of considerable magnitude, and cripples the functioning of the organization. The overt bias practiced against one state undermines the UN's credibility and integrity. . . .” (Ref. 8) And who is the largest financial contributor to this blatantly biased organization that directly and indirectly advances the aims of jihadist terrorists who openly call for the destruction on a U.N. member nation? The United States of America is!

     Hamas, which controls Gaza, is the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine. Hamas and its counterpart in Lebanon, Hezbollah, both espouse the destruction of Israel and the killing of Jews as their primary objective.

     As of February 2015, Iran, reportedly, the leading financer of terrorism in the world, was reported to have decided to renew its full financial sponsorship of Hamas. According to this report:

     “Iran pledged to renew its full financial sponsorship of the cash-strapped Hamas and will in the coming weeks transfer money to pay the salaries of the tens of thousands of employees on the payroll of Gaza’s Islamic rulers . . .
     “Iran also pledged to attempt to rearm Hamas not only in the Gaza Strip but in the West Bank . . .” (Ref. 9)

     Hamas and other similar Islamic terrorist organizations must be destroyed, not kept in power with foreign financing. In theory, the United Nations, which supposedly is a neutral body and which is supposed to represent the entire world, should be the organization to oversee the Gaza Strip and to exercise control until such time as a non-violent government can be established there that will focus on the real needs and welfare of the residents of Gaza rather than on the stated Hamas objective of destroying the State of Israel and killing all Jews. Unfortunately, as indicated above, the U.N. has proven itself totally incapable of being neutral with respect to Israel and of being insensitive to the welfare of the people it is supposed to be helping.

     To once-and-for-all end the terrorism originating in Hamas-controlled Gaza, the following actions need to be taken:

  • There must be a clear and unambiguous declaration that Iran-backed Hamas is an Islamic terrorist organization that bears the full responsibly for the loss of lives and the destruction of property in the Gaza Strip.
  • As the chief supporter of Hamas terror in Gaza, Iran must be subjected to increased economic, military, and political pressures until all Iranian aid to Hamas and other Islamic extremists is ended.
  • Any and all foreign aid for reconstruction efforts in Gaza must only be given to an independent Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) – not to Hamas nor to any other organization associated with Hamas, nor to any organization associated with Islamic terrorism.
  • Any and all foreign aid for reconstruction efforts in Gaza must only be overseen, monitored, and administered by an independent Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) – not by Hamas nor by any other organization associated with Hamas, nor by any organization associated with Islamic terrorism.
  • All announcements, notices, and signs concerning foreign aid for reconstruction in Gaza must clearly and unambiguously state the source of the aid - not Hamas.
  • There can be no public connection between Hamas and reconstruction work in the Gaza Strip.
  • There can be no foreign aid funds for Hamas – All foreign funding to support the people living in the Gaza Strip must go to and be administered by an independent NGO.
  • All foreign funding to support the people living in the Gaza Strip must be distributed by, accounted for, reviewed and approved by an independent NGO.
  • All foreign funding to support the people living in the Gaza Strip must be provided under a strict financial accountability system, administered by an independent NGO, and reported back to the nations providing the financial support.
  • No funds can be provided that have the potential for re-arming or supporting Hamas (or any other terrorist organization), including financing of so-called “Hamas humanitarian services.”
  • Military and financial support must be increased to Egypt which is fighting the Muslim Brotherhood there and stemming the flow of arms through the Sinai into Gaza for Hamas.
     Another case of the misuse of foreign aid in Gaza surfaced recently. In August of 2016, Israel “arrested the director of the Gaza branch of World Vision, who admitted he had been stealing tens of millions of dollars of humanitarian aid and transferring it to Hamas, to be used for paying terrorists, buying weapons, and digging terror tunnels.
     “ World Vision is a multi-billion dollar American NGO operating in more than 100 countries and territories.
     “{The} arrest led to an investigation that uncovered widespread abuse of humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip, which the terrorist organization has used to advance its terrorist networks.” (Ref. 10)

     According to information obtained: 60% of World Vision’s budget for the Gaza - about $7.2 million annually – was diverted to Hamas; roughly 40% of funds for civilian projects - about $1.5 million annually – was used as cash payouts to Hamas combat units; another $4 million annually for the needy in Gaza went to Hamas; building materials from World Vision wet to Hamas to construct military facilities; humanitarian aid donated for civilians was given almost exclusively to Hamas terrorists and their families.[10]

     The Gaza director of World Vision sad that, “Hamas believed he had a good chance of infiltrating the humanitarian aid organization because his father works for the United Nations and he himself had worked in the United Nations Development Programme. In the latter capacity, he had employed ‘farmers’ in areas close to Gaza’s border with Israel who in fact were lookouts for Hamas.
     “He added that his father . . . who has served as head of UNWRA’s educational institutions in the Gaza Strip for years, is a Hamas terrorist who uses his position as a UN employee to help the organization.” (Ref. 10)

     Recently, there was an indication that at least one country was beginning to at last question where its support to the Palestinians was going. How were the funds being used?

     In October 2016, it was announced that “The United Kingdom is freezing aid payments to the Palestinian Authority amid reports the funds are ending up in the hands of terrorists or their families.
     “The UK’s International Development Secretary . . . ordered the freeze of $31 million – one-third of the total given to the Palestinian Authority – pending an investigation into how the funds are being used, . . .
     “Earlier this year, many British lawmakers demanded action after reports revealed the UK aid had been going to families of suicide bombers or teenagers attacking Israel.
     “The move comes after . . . investigative report{s} . . . found that British aid money was used to encourage Palestinian terrorism, bringing media attention to the practice and spurring parliamentarians to call on the government to take action.
    - - -
     “While PA President Mahmoud Abbas does not deny that his government pays salaries to terrorists and their families, the PA claims that the funds come from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), not its own budget. However, {the} president and founder of the Middle East Media Research Institute, told Congress in July that in order to mislead donor countries who were pressuring the PA to stop rewarding terrorism, the PA transferred the role of distribution of money from a ministry in the PA to a commission in the PLO in 2014. He added that the PA is still the source of the funding, and that the official overseeing the payments remains the same. (Palestinian Media Watch also reported that the money is still controlled by the same officials and comes from the PA’s budget, albeit indirectly.)
      - - -
     “In August, the UK suspended donations to the charity World Vision after Israel arrested the director of the group’s Gaza branch, who confessed to funneling millions of dollars to the terrorist group Hamas. (Similarly, Australia and Germany have suspended their donations to World Vision in the wake of the revelations, while Germany’s Foreign Ministry acknowledged last month that its aid money to the PA is likely being used to provide funds to terrorists and their families.)
      - - -
     “In {a} March report, {a prominent British newspaper} named several convicted killers who were receiving salaries from the PA. These include . . . {2} cousins who in 2011 massacred five members of the Fogel family . . . in their West Bank home. {One killer} alone may have received nearly $23,000, according to estimates. (In 2012, PA television praised the cousins as “heroes.”)
     “Another terrorist on the PA’s payroll is {a} veteran Hamas bomb-maker . . . {now} serving 67 life sentences in an Israeli jail over his role in numerous bombings, including at the Hebrew University cafeteria in 2002, the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem in 2001, and a Rishon Lezion nightclub in 2002, which killed 66 people. He is believed to have received over $150,000 for his efforts.
     “A report about the practice last year in The Jerusalem Post observed that since the sums paid are based on the length of the terrorists’ sentences, ‘the more gruesome the terrorism, the more money will be paid.’
     “Critics have long called for greater transparency in the distribution of foreign aid payment to Palestinians, who are the largest per capita recipients of international development aid in the world.   . . . Foreign aid amounted to about a quarter of the PA’s entire budget in 2012 . . .” (Ref. 11)

  1. U.S. Funding for Hamas?, The Wall Street Journal, 6 June 2014.
  2. US aid indirectly helps Hamas, under deal with Palestinian Authority, Paul Alster, Fox News, 5 May 2014.
  3. Wall Street Journal Confirms That Obama is Arming Hamas Terrorists, Conservative Tribune, 2 August 2014.
  4. Wealthy Terrorists Don’t Need Foreign Aid, Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary Magazine, 13 November 2014.
  5. Israeli Army: Hamas responsible for Gaza’s reconstruction woes, Jonathan S. Tobin, i24news, 26 February 2015.
  6. The UNRWA is Hamas, Daniel Greenfield, The Jewish Press, 7 August 2014.
  7. Palestinian Human Rights Activist Calls for Major Overhaul of UNRWA (INTERVIEW), Ben Cohen, algemeiner,
    4 December 2014.
  8. UN, Israel & Anti-Semitism, UN Watch, Accessed 25 February 2015.
  9. Iran To Renew Financial Support of Hamas, Aaron Klein, The Jewish Press, 20 February 2015.
  10. IDF Busts Aid Worker Funnelling Millions To Hamas, Staff, The Jewish Press, Page 3, 12 August 2016.
  11. UK Suspends $30 Million in Aid to Palestinian Authority Over Payments to Terrorists, TheTower.org,
    unitedwith Israel.org, 9 October 2016.


  13 October 2016 {Article 266; Islam_23}    
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