Humanitarian charity shocked after manager charged with supporting Hamas

World Vision says it rejects involvement in any political, military or terrorist activities and calls on the Israeli authorities to provide a fair legal process

World Vision website
World Vision website

The humanitarian charity World Vision has said it is shocked after its manager of operations in Gaza was charged by Israeli security with supporting Hamas.

Media reports claim that Mohammad El Halabi allegedly siphoned approximately £5.3m a year from the charity to Hamas, with about £60,000 in British donations among the money diverted.

The charity said the allegations were unsubstantiated. 

According to a statement from the charity, El Halabi was arrested on his way home from routine meetings by the Israeli authorities on 15 June.

After 50 days in Israeli state detention, the charity says El Halabi was charged with providing support to Hamas.

World Vision’s statement said the charity was shocked to learn of the charges and would review any evidence put forward.

"World Vision subscribes to the humanitarian principles of impartiality and neutrality and therefore rejects any involvement in any political, military or terrorist activities and maintains its independence as a humanitarian aid agency committed to serving the poor, especially children," the statement said.

"World Vision has detailed procedures and control mechanisms in place to ensure that the funds entrusted to us are spent in accordance with applicable legal requirements and in ways that do not fuel conflict but rather contribute to peace."

The charity also called for a fair legal process to take place and said its programmes have been the subject of regular audits.

"World Vision programmes in Gaza have been subject to regular internal and independent audits, independent evaluations, and a broad range of internal controls aimed at ensuring that assets reach their intended beneficiaries and are used in compliance with applicable laws and donor requirements.

"We will carefully review any evidence presented to us and will take appropriate actions based on that evidence."

The UK government does not provide any money to the charity’s Gaza programme.

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