Legislators are pressuring the State Department to release a classified government report that has been buried for years and reportedly exposes the enormous exaggerations from the U.N. and other entities regarding the number of Palestinian refugees.
In January, The Washington Free Beacon quoted multiple sources who claimed that the State Department first classified the report under the Obama administration, despite the fact that the report’s release was required by law. At the same time, the Trump administration slashed funding to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which has long been viewed as virulently anti-Israel and uses the exaggerated numbers to seek more aid.
"The State Department is committed to taking all appropriate measures to provide information in response to requests from Congress," a State Department official told The Washington Free Beacon.
Sources told The Free Beacon that the report estimates there are roughly 20,000 Palestinian refugees, astronomically fewer than the 5.3 million that UNRWA and pro-Palestinian advocates routinely claim.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) told The Free Beacon that the stonewalling of the State Department bars Congress from providing oversight for the U.S. taxpayer. He asserted, "UNRWA lashes out against America and engages in anti-Semitic incitement. Hamas terrorists use UNRWA facilities to target Israeli civilians. The American people deserve to see this reported State Department assessment, so Congress and the administration can have a transparent and productive debate about America's role in the organization."
One senior congressional official said, "It's not really a question of what they're hiding. We know what's in the report because it's just a matter of mathematics and demographics. The number of refugees was half a million people to begin with, and that was 70 years ago so many of them have passed away, so it can't be five million now. The question is why the Trump administration is trying to lock in the Obama era policy of never letting this report see the light of day.”