World Vision, a major US-based Christian NGO in the Gaza Strip, said it was “shocked” to learn about accusations that its manager in Gaza had channeled the charity’s funds to Hamas, calling for “fair” and “legal” processes to be undertaken. A statement said.
Israel had accused Mohammed El-Halabi, World Vision’s Operations Manager in the Gaza Strip, of illegally transferring some $7.2 million – 60 per cent of the organization’s annual budget – to Hamas during the decade in which he worked for the charity, AFP reported.
The NGO denied the claims insisting that El-Halabi is a “widely respected” manager. After the release of the Israeli charges against El-Halabi World Vision said in a statement that it had been “working in Israel/Palestine for over 40 years, striving to give hope to over 500,000 of the most vulnerable children, through education, health, child protection and resilience programs.”
— Sarah Wilkinson (@swilkinsonbc) August 7, 2016
It added that it “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 emphasized that, “World Vision programs 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.”