The money originally came to the region as part of the $500 million in relief fund from USAID
According to a new report by Israeli monitoring group NGO Monitor, millions of US tax dollars were passed on Palestinian programs that introduced children to convicted terrorists in Gaza and the West Bank and presented them as role models.
According to the report, the money originally came into the region as part of $500 million in relief funds from USAID. But six controversial non-governmental organizations received a total of $7.2 million between 2015 and 2019 in the form of sub-funds given by first aid recipients.
“Many of these incidents occurred prior to the release of the grant, indicating a failure to properly investigate the grantees,” the NGO Monitor said in a statement. “Many of them occurred during the grant period, reflecting the need to continue monitoring grantees after funding is approved.”
Secondary recipients introduced the children to convicted terrorists and allegedly lobbied the children on behalf of imprisoned Islamic Jihad members.
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At one of the protests, children were heard saying, “We are with the prisoners till death… We are with you till liberation… Protest till death… Intifada till death,” as per the report.
“To guarantee the integrity of US funding, USAID and primary grant recipients must thoroughly investigate potential partners,” said Jonah Schiffmiller, research director at NGO Monitor. “This should include publicly available information such as the websites and social media accounts of potential grant recipients and their key officials, as well as media reports, court documents and other public records.”
The report follows a March 29 Government Accountability Office report that called for increased monitoring and scrutiny of USAID subcontract recipients.
The report said, “The GAO found that for fiscal year 2015-2019, USAID fully complied with all three requirements when awarding the Prime Award, but did not consistently ensure that the sub-awards were in compliance. “
The federal government is also considering fresh relief efforts after 11 deadly days of fighting between Israel’s defense forces and militant Gaza militants.
“At this critical juncture, when the United States seeks to direct tens of millions of dollars in aid to Gaza, ensuring a robust and effective investigative process to prevent aid by terrorist organizations and extremist actors is an absolute necessity,” Schiffmiller said.