A senior official of international charity World Vision remains on trial in an Israeli court, three years after he was first arrested, tortured, and charged.
According to a new report published by +972 Magazine, since 2016, Israel has not provided any evidence to Mohammed Al-Halabi or World Vision to prove its case, “and yet Halabi’s trial continues in an Israeli court, unresolved and with no end in sight”.
#OPINION: Father of ‘Humanitarian Hero’, Mohammed Al-Halabi Speaks Out
— Middle East Monitor (@MiddleEastMnt) June 13, 2019
Al-Halabi’s lawyer Maher Hanna said:
“This case is unprecedented in the Israeli legal system. Israel knows that Halabi is innocent. Some Israeli officials told me that.”
al-Halabi, who was the World Vision manager for the Gaza Strip at the time of his arrest, has been accused by Israeli authorities of funneling some $43 million from the NGO to Hamas.
https://t.co/e4Cm2n0QiL@UNHumanRights @WorldVision @WorldVisionAus @WorldVisionUSA @nmladenov @timnati @Marianhouk @btselem @andrewmorley0 @Hass_Haaretz @kamelhawwash @BBCWorld @ShehabAgency @SafaPs @MaanNewsAgency @AP @USCPR_ @yazanAgency@Reuters_arabyia
— Khalil El Halabi (@KhalilElHalabi1) June 13, 2019
“The picture that emerges from many pages of internal World Vision documents rarely heard details of the court case, and a correspondence with Halabi himself,” +972 Magazine stated, is that of “an innocent Palestinian being tortured, mistreated and pressured to capitulate to Israeli demands.”
After his arrest in 2016, Israel held Halabi incommunicado for 50 days, during which time the NGO staffer was interrogated, tortured and held in solitary confinement.
https://t.co/TLbgOwwUa1@nmladenov @JessicaMontell @hrw @UNHumanRights @benabyad @antloewenstein @joedyke @Marianhouk @Hass_Haaretz @AP @Reuters_arabyia @ShehabAgency@btselem @AB@BBCWorld pic.twitter.com/A9aEwsdduC
— Khalil El Halabi (@KhalilElHalabi1) June 17, 2019
Yet by contrast to the extraordinary allegations contained within the Israeli indictment, by 2017, an investigation by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) “concluded that there was no basis to support the claim that Halabi had diverted any Australian money to Hamas”.
As noted by +972 Magazine,
“World Vision has supported Halabi during the entire legal process, and two internal investigations found no evidence to support the Israeli allegations against him.”
#Freedom for Mohammed Al Halabi#Liberté pour Mohammed Al Halabi #Freiheit für Mohammed Al Halabi#Libertad para Mohammed Al Halabi #חופש עבור מוחמד אל חלבי#الحرية_للمهندس_محمد_الحلبي @hrw @JessicaMontell @YuvalEyon pic.twitter.com/9GjV02mbKX
— Khalil El Halabi (@KhalilElHalabi1) June 15, 2019
According to a US-based spokesperson for World Vision, the organization has “yet to see any substantive evidence to support the charges against Mohammed Halabi”.
The trial began in August 2016 and there have been more than 100 court hearings thus far. In early 2017, the Israeli judge told al-Halabi “that he should accept a plea deal because there was ‘little chance’ he wouldn’t be convicted”.
Al-Halabi believes he is being punished by the Israeli court for refusing to accept a plea deal.
(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)