Hagerty, Cruz, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Allow Americans to Sue International Organizations that Support Terrorism

March 5, 2024

WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today joined Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), along with six other Senate Republican colleagues, in introducing the Limiting Immunity for Assisting Backers of Lethal Extremism (LIABLE) Act, legislation to allow American victims of terrorism to sue international organizations that support those terrorists, such as the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provided resources to Hamas terrorists ahead of the horrific October7th attack on Israel.

“No international organization is more responsible for the cultivation of anti-Israel extremism and terrorism among Palestinians than UNRWA, whose schools produced over 100 graduates who participated in the atrocities of October 7th,” said Senator Hagerty. “In addition to the UNRWA employees who directly participated in the terrorist attacks of October 7th that killed dozens of Americans, UNRWA has indisputably provided material support to the terrorist organization Hamas for decades. This necessary legislation makes it possible to hold UNRWA accountable for its complicity in terrorism.”

“UNRWA has knowingly provided salaries and materials to Hamas for decades,” said Senator Cruz. “That support enabled Hamas to arm itself, create its vast underground terrorist infrastructure, and launch its October 7th atrocities on Israel. That attack included the murder and kidnapping of dozens of Americans. The victims and their families deserve the ability to hold UNRWA accountable in court for its support of Hamas and for what happened on October 7th. The LIABLE Act would give them that opportunity.”

UNRWA has received hundreds of millions of dollars from the Biden Administration that it then poured into the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. That process would normally constitute material support for terrorism, because the assistance directly and indirectly benefits Hamas—a known terrorist group—but the Biden Administration has granted waivers among other legislative measures to circumvent the law and enable UNRWA to support Hamas.

The LIABLE Act would allow American victims of terrorist groups to sue international organizations that provide resources to terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. These organizations would otherwise be immune from lawsuits pursuant to the International Organization Immunity Act (IOIA), which parallels the immunity provided to foreign states through the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA).

Full text of the LIABLE Act can be found here.