Manager at charity World Vision accused of channelling millions to Hamas military


Israeli security services have arrested a senior member of international charity World Vision on suspicion of helping fund Hamas, it emerged on Thursday.

The Shin Bet said it detained Mohammed Halabi, a manager at World Vision in Gaza, in June.

The Israeli domestic security agency said that Halabi transferred up to $50 million to Hamas over the years, which it used to purchase weapons.

World Vision was founded by American Baptist minister Robert Pierce in 1950. According to its website, it is a “Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice.”

The Shin Bet said that Halabi used a "systematic and sophisticated mechanism" to channel cash to the Gaza terror movement, which included submitting inflated receipts and falsely listing Hamas operatives as workers on World Vision projects.

It alleged that World Vision’s humanitarian aid to Gaza was mainly diverted to Hamas operatives and their families.

Luke Akehurst, Director of We Believe in Israel, said: “We would expect NGOs and charities working in a conflict zone like Gaza to have appropriate systems in place to ensure that all their local staff are unconnected to Hamas and other terror organisations, and that all their money is used for genuine humanitarian purposes and in no way can be misused by Hamas to fund terrorism.”

The Board of Deputies Senior Vice President Richard Verber said: “We note that World Vision is supported by the Department for International Development, the European Commission and a host of other international organisations who we expect will investigate this case with the utmost urgency.”

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