Watchdog warns that $34 million allocated by Biden to ‘confidential’ aid groups in Gaza could boost Hamas

It remains unclear what safeguards have been placed on these funds to prevent Hamas from stealing them.

By Adam Kredo, The Washington Free Beacon

The Biden administration is poised to funnel millions of dollars in taxpayer cash to aid groups inside the Gaza Strip but is keeping the identities of those organizations a secret, making it difficult for congressional appropriators to determine if the money will enrich Hamas or other terror entities known to steal American aid dollars.

The White House earmarked at least $34 million in U.S. taxpayer funds for “confidential” nonprofits and United Nations agencies operating in the Gaza Strip, according to a review of U.N. funding channels by NGO Monitor, a watchdog group that tracks the international organization.

“This lack of transparency prevents congressional oversight and independent assessment of the ultimate recipients of U.S. government funding,” the watchdog group wrote in a briefing document earlier this week. “The potential for abuse in the Palestinian context is acute and indisputable.”

Hamas is already known to have stolen international aid pumped into the Gaza Strip since the terror group launched its war on Israel in October. But the Biden administration is allocating more than $120 million to various U.N. organizations and nonprofits operating in the region. It remains unclear what safeguards have been placed on these funds to prevent Hamas from stealing them, raising questions about how Congress can adequately vote on an appropriation package without knowing who exactly will benefit from the American funds.

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“At a time when the U.S. is pressuring the Israelis to dial back on the intensity of the war in Gaza, the least thing the U.S. could do is demand greater transparency from the U.N., as money and assistance from the multilateral organization has been diverted for Hamas’s benefit for decades,” said Jonathan Schanzer, a former terrorism finance analyst at the Treasury Department who is the senior vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank.

Per the United Nations’ financial tracking database, the U.S. government is slated to award $9 million to a “confidential” assortment of “U.N. agencies and NGOs” for various “health and nutrition” programs.

Another $9 million will make its way to a “confidential” group of “international NGOs” for broad use in 2024. The description for this allocation “indicates that this will involve ‘cash assistance’ to unknown groups [and] individuals,” according to NGO Monitor.

An additional $2 million grant from the United States is slated for use by a “confidential” list of nonprofits in 2024, according to NGO Monitor’s findings, which “indicate that this will involve cash transfers to unknown groups/individuals.”

The American government will spend an additional $5 million on “food security” programs in Gaza in 2024 and another $9 million on “health and nutrition” programs. The recipients of the cash for both grants are marked “confidential.”

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NGO Monitor is warning that the United Nations has a history of allowing this money to enrich terror groups like Hamas due to poor vetting and oversight measures.

“Previous aid diversion—enabled by weak to non-existent counterterror policies among international NGOs and U.N. agencies, and in some cases, direct cooperation—contributed significantly to Hamas’ terror capacity in Gaza,” according to the watchdog group.

The United Nations also does not consider Hamas a terrorist organization, as the United States does, making it easier for cash to reach entities that may be linked to the terror group.