By Joel Mowbray in the Washington Times, :
Millions of dollars in U.S. foreign aid have been given in the past several years to two Palestinian universities — one of them controlled by Hamas — that have participated in the advocacy, support or glorification of terrorism.
The funding — principally in scholarships to individual students — is being eyed by several members of Congress and their aides, who say it may violate U.S. law.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided more than $140,000 in assistance to the Hamas-controlled Islamic University in Gaza — including scholarships to 49 of its students — since Congress changed the law in 2004 to restrict aid to entities or individuals “involved in or advocating terrorist activity.”
No U.S. assistance was directed to Islamic University last year, but USAID continues to fund multimillion-dollar programs through American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA), which is building a high-tech facility for the school. U.S. law requires that any recipient of U.S. aid have no association with terrorists.
USAID also gave $2.3 million in aid last year to Al-Quds University, which has student groups affiliated with designated terrorist organizations on campus and last month held a weeklong celebration of the man credited with designing and building the first suicide belts more than a decade ago.
“It is outrageous that U.S. taxpayer dollars are going toward institutions that support terrorists,” said Rep. Gary L. Ackerman, New York Democrat and chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia.