Blackburn demands investigation into UN agency employee allegedly detaining Israeli hostage

Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) is demanding an investigation take place immediately into the allegation that a United Nations agency’s teacher detained an Israeli hostage.

“An @UNRWA employee allegedly aided Hamas in detaining and keeping an Israeli citizen hostage. I’m calling for an immediate investigation into this corrupt agency. The U.S. will not be complicit in propping up Hamas’ terrorism,” Blackburn wrote on X.

On October 7, Hamas launched terrorist attacks on Israel, killing over 1,200 people and taking hundreds more hostage. Many women and men were raped and slaughtered. Others were just executed as they were found.

“The United States will not be complicit in propping up Hamas’ terrorism, and this report further proves why deep change is necessary within UNRWA before we even consider providing another dollar to the agency,” Blackburn wrote in a letter that Fox News Digital obtained.

It was addressed to U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield and United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini.

It is deeply concerning that, despite the prevalence of these reports, the United Nations has seemingly done nothing to investigate or prevent the siphoning of UNRWA funding by terrorists, and UNRWA continues to double down on its claims that each subsequent, documented report is ‘unsubstantiated,’” Blackburn continued.

The senator wants a response by Dec. 18 on the matter. She references a report from Israeli reporter Almog Boker concerning the UNRWA employee who allegedly detained a hostage in their attic for 50 days. Blackburn wants an explanation concerning UNRWA’s “process for ensuring its facilities are not used to support terrorist activities.”

“Boker, a journalist with Israeli Channel 13, last week claimed on social media platform X that he had interviewed a recently released hostage who told him a UNRWA teacher held them hostage. He additionally claimed a Gazan doctor – allegedly a pediatrician – helped hold another hostage captive for Hamas,” Fox News reported.

“One of the abductees, held for nearly 50 days in an attic, reveals he was held by a [UNRWA] teacher – a father of ten children,” Boker claimed on the social media platform. “This teacher locked the victim away, barely provided food, and neglected medical needs … These are not isolated incidents; these civilians are terrorists,” Boker wrote. “Present at the Saturday massacre, they’re now revealed as integral to holding hundreds captive, including women and children.”

UNRWA is asserting that the charges are “unsubstantiated.”

“UNRWA and other entities in the United Nations have asked the journalist to provide more information on what we consider to be a very serious allegation. Despite repeated demands, the journalist has not responded,” the organization commented in an official statement.

“This is the response I gave them,” Boker responded on X. “This is not a ‘claim.’ This is the testimony of a survivor, an abductee who was held captive by Hamas. More evidence is coming. While Hamas is holding 136 Israeli hostages in Gaza, I cannot share information that could endanger them or identify the survivor.”

“I hope UNRWA takes this more seriously than Hamas’s theft of its stocks and misuse of its civilian facilities for terrorist activities,” he stated.

This isn’t the first allegation against UNRWA. They stand accused of corruption and aiding Hamas according to an X community note. Reuters reports that the former headmaster at a UNRWA school helped build rockets for Islamic Jihad while he was still employed by the agency. There were also posts from several UNRWA teachers and administrators who celebrated the Oct. 7 atrocities.

Blackburn was blunt on the matter and told Fox News that if the allegation is true, the U.S. must “immediately defund this terrorist-sympathizing organization.”

“Not one more U.S. taxpayer dollar should go towards funding UNRWA,” she asserted. “We have known for years that this is an antisemitic organization. It has become crystal clear that the United Nations is complicit in Hamas’ terrorism.”

Dozens of rockets, mortars, and other explosives were reportedly found hidden under UNRWA boxes in a residential home on Friday by the IDF.

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