U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Susan Collins, both Republicans, sent a letter to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres demanding the immediate termination of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees Commissioner Philippe Lazzarini. Lazzarini has allowed Islamic militants, and supporters, to freely operate in United Nations assistance programs, all while upholding extremist views regarding Israel, according to the Senators.
News reports have revealed that at least 12 staffers of the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine Refugees in the Near East took part in the October 7, 2023, Hamas-led terrorist attack against Israeli and international civilians. Reports indicate even more could have ties to the terrorist organization.
“Of the 12 UNRWA individuals who took part in the October 7th attack, six have been identified as committing violent and barbaric acts against civilian women, children, elderly, and men,” the Republican Senators wrote. “It must be noted that the victims were not just Israeli civilians, but also included at least 200 citizens of other UN member states, including Argentina, Canada, China, France, Germany, Nepal, the Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Lazzarini’s lack of care or regard for these victims is a blatant disregard for the values that the UN claims to espouse.”
Florida Senator Rubio serves as the Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and Maine Senator Collins as the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and Subcommittee on Defense.
“Incitement to discrimination, hostility, and violence by UNRWA staff is unacceptable,” the letter continued. “While Lazzarini has terminated a few employees during his tenure, he only did so as a result of international pressure. He has never taken proactive steps to root out antisemitism from within the organization nor has he held the significant number of pro-terrorist employees, who still remain on the payroll of UNRWA, accountable for their hate.”
Read the full text of the Rubio letter demanding UNWRA resignation below: