Sunday, August 7, 2016

Gaza head of World Vision accused of diverting aid to finance terror

The Gaza head of the U.S.-based humanitarian aid organization World Vision has confessed to funneling as much as $50 million a year over the past 10 years to Hamas terror activities. Over a decade ago,  Hamas recruited World Vision’s head of Gaza operations, Mohammed Halabi. (also known as Mohammed El-Halabi,  He rose through the ranks of the organization until he.was in control of  the finances and budget, ultimately  funneling 7.2 million a year to Hamas, and  its military wing the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades. It is estimated that 60% of all funds sent to Gaza by the World Vision charity was diverted to the Islamist movement. World Vision is among the largest Christian charities in the world. 

The specific allegations against Mohammed Halabi. include:
• Promoting fictitious agricultural associations as cover for transfers to Hamas;
• Transferring money to Hamas members fraudulently registered as employees of charity-sponsored projects;
• Issuing inflated invoices and fictitious receipts with the excess being transferred to Hamas;
• Issuing fictitious tenders for work to be done for World Vision, with the "winning" tenderer to transfer 60% of funds received to Hamas;
• Transferring directly to Hamas equipment and aid packages provided by World Vision;
• Initiating a greenhouse project to use the greenhouses to hide the sites of terror tunnels;
• Disguising Hamas warehouses as World Vision warehouses so Hamas could take materials delivered to them;
• Diverting money for injured children to Hamas terrorists who fraudulently listed their own children as wounded; and
• Diverting unemployment benefits to Hamas terrorists.

An Israel Security Agency official said that while the investigation did not implicate World Vision in the scheme to divert funds, it did reveal an abysmal lack of monitoring and supervision by the organization of its donations and projects. "Hamas stole tens of millions of dollars from disabled and poor Palestinian children to build a war machine," said David Keyes, a spokesman for the Israeli government.

 Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has suspended funding of World Vision programs in Palestine, after the head of the charity in Gaza was charged by Israel with providing funds to Hamas. Germany has followed.

 DFAT said, "Any diversion of the generous support of the Australian and international community for military or terrorist purposes by Hamas is to be deplored and can only harm the Palestinian people."

World Vision has worked in Israel and the Palestinian territories since 1975, “advocating for the improved well-being of children as well as empowering Palestinian and Israeli voices that advocate for peace and justice.” It receives considerable funding from the UN and Western governments.

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