Judge Rejects Biden Admin’s Effort To Dismiss Case Alleging It Funded Palestinian Terrorists

A federal court on Friday denied the Biden administration’s effort to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that it had illegally subsidized Palestinian terrorism.

The lawsuit, first filed in December 2022 by Republican Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson and victims of Palestinian terrorists, claims that the administration violated the law by reinstating aid to Palestinians and allowing funds to flow to a program that pays stipends to imprisoned terrorists as well as their families. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas  ruled that there is sufficient evidence the Biden administration maintained its funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) after Congress sanctioned the organization over its ties to Hamas for the case to proceed.

“The law is clear that taxpayer dollars should not be funding Palestinian terrorism,” Jackson said in a press release put out by America First Legal. ‘This critical decision will help to hold the Biden administration accountable and ensure that the national security of the United States and Israel is prioritized over the illegal funding of terrorism with American taxpayer dollars.”

About 10% of UNRWA’s staff had ties to Islamic terrorist groups, and about a dozen of them were involved in the Oct. 7 terror attacks where Hamas killed roughly 1,200 people in Israel and took hundreds more as hostages, according to U.S. intelligence reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Since President Joe Biden took office, the State Department has approved over $1 billion to UNRWA, federal spending records show.

Congress in March passed a ban on funding to UNRWA, which Biden signed later that month, the Times of Israel reported. The court found evidence that the Biden administration’s support for UNRWA was “undiminished” despite Congress’ ban.

Former President Donald Trump froze aid to UNRWA during his tenure in office.

“Biden officials knew that by unlawfully overturning the existing Trump administration’s ‘no funds’ policy and violating the Taylor Force Act, U.S. taxpayers would end up subsidizing Hamas’s tunnels and missiles and the corrupt Palestinian Authority’s obscene pay-to-slay bounty program,” America First Legal senior vice president Reed Rubinstein said in a press release about the ruling.

The Taylor Force Act barred federal funds from going to the Palestinian Authority so long as it pays out cash to the families of terrorists, in what has been described as a “pay-to-slay” program. The Palestinian Authority paid $2,807,021 to the families of Hamas militants in October, according to Palestinian Media Watch.

The State Department has also spent millions training members of the Palestinian Authority security forces, an armed group whose members allegedly have participated in attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers.

The White House and UNRWA did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

AUTHOR

ROBERT SCHMAD

Contributor.

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