Mohammad El Halabi, World Vision manager, charged with diverting funds to Hamas

Israeli security officials have charged Mohammad El Halabi, the operations manager in Gaza for World Vision, with funneling tens of millions of dollars in donations to Hamas’s military wing.

According to the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, the Shin Bet contends that 60 percent of World Vision’s Gaza operations were diverted to Hamas. World Vision, one of the world’s largest Christian humanitarian aid organizations, said in a statement August 4 that it was “shocked” by the allegations and that “based on the information available to us at this time, we have no reason to believe that the allegations are true.”

The Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic security service, said in a statement that during interrogations over the past six weeks Halabi admitted to being a Hamas activist and using his position “to divert the humanitarian organization’s funds and resources from the needy” to benefit Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip. The money went toward weapons, tunnels into Israel, a military base, and militants’ salaries, according to the security agency.