US government money earmarked for Gaza rehabilitation projects has ended up in recent years in the hands of Palestinian terrorist groups, according to a watchdog report cited by the Hebrew news site nrg on Tuesday.
According to the report — authored by Shurat HaDin-The Israel Law Center, an Israel-based “lawfare” organization — the American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA) NGO has transferred funds to welfare and education institutions run by Hamas — which has ruled Gaza since 2007 — and Islamic Jihad. Both groups are on the US terror blacklist.
The report, nrg said, found that ANERA received $28 million from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in 2015 and $24.55 million in 2016.
ANERA money has reportedly been used for, among other things, the construction of a mosque that has become a source of terrorist incitement and a kindergarten where children simulate conducting kidnappings and rocket attacks against Israel.
Shurat HaDin, nrg reported, has appealed to new US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to prevent this indirect transfer of American taxpayer dollars to terrorist groups.
“From observing the new administration in the US and the new spirit emanating from the White House and State Department, I hope and believe federal funding of ANERA will be halted as long as it continues to finance terrorism,” Shurat HaDin founder Nitsana Darshan-Leitner was quoted by nrg as saying. “This is how we will harm the terrorist infrastructure that is being rebuilt in Gaza.”