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Sen. Cruz Introduces Legislation Prohibiting Biden Admin. from Waiving Anti-Terrorism Sanctions

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 U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, filed legislation today to prohibit the U.S. government from suspending anti-terrorism restrictions to send foreign aid to the Gaza Strip or the West Bank. Image for illustration purposes
 U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, filed legislation today to prohibit the U.S. government from suspending anti-terrorism restrictions to send foreign aid to the Gaza Strip or the West Bank. Image for illustration purposes
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, filed legislation today to prohibit the U.S. government from suspending anti-terrorism restrictions to send foreign aid to the Gaza Strip or the West Bank. The Terminating Unlawful Negligence and Nullifying Exemptions and Licenses to Sanctions (TUNNELS) Act of 2024, rescinds the licenses employed by the Biden administration to channel U.S. aid through international and non-governmental organizations to Gaza, and prevents these licenses from being reissued.

Upon introducing the TUNNELS Act, Sen. Cruz said, “The Biden administration exempted and continues to exempt itself from American laws prohibiting material support for terrorism to funnel money elsewhere. That aid provided the resources for Hamas to arm itself and create its vast underground terrorist camp, which directly facilitated Hamas’s October 7 atrocities. The TUNNELS Act will prevent this administration or any future administration from using loopholes they gave themselves to fund groups such as UNRWA that support Hamas. If you have to exempt yourself from exactly those sorts of anti-terrorism laws, you should not be sending money there.”

Sen. Cruz was joined by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), and Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) in introducing the legislation.

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Read the full text of the bill here

BACKGROUND

Sen. Cruz has led the charge in the Senate to hold the Biden administration accountable for U.S.-based non-profit UNRWA’s material support for terrorism in the Gaza Strip.

  • Sen. Cruz denounced UNRWA after it was discovered that Hamas built a terrorist intelligence site using facilities maintained by UNRWA. 
  • Sen. Cruz sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland urging the U.S. Department of Justice to open a criminal investigation into UNRWA USA for providing salaries and materials that benefit foreign terrorist organizations, including Hamas.
  • Eugene Kontorovich, a professor at George Mason University Scalia Law School and a scholar at the Jerusalem-based Kohelet Policy Forum, recently wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal calling for Congress to create a terrorism exception in laws governing immunity for international organizations, and noted that Sen. Cruz’s bill does so.
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