World Vision Says Its Gaza Office Director Imprisoned by Israel is Innocent of All Charges

Mohammed al-Halabi, World Vision’s Operations Manager in the Gaza Strip. (Photo: Family Album, Supplied)

The international Christian relief and development organization, World Vision, said that an external investigation found out that Israeli allegations against its imprisoned Gaza office director, Mohammad Al-Halabi, are unfounded, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported on Saturday.

World Vision said in a statement that they decided to examine any evidence of Israeli charges against Al-Halabi, and commissioned an independent external forensic investigation, in cooperation with its donor governments.

“We have been closely following Mohammad’s lengthy trial. Many of our staff have participated as witnesses, and our staff, often alongside representatives from other organizations, have been present as observers in every public trial session,” the international organization stated.

“After five years of trial proceedings, which have now concluded as we await a verdict, we have not seen anything that makes us question our conclusion that Mohammad is innocent of all the charges,” the statement added.

“This process has had a dramatic and negative effect on children and their families in Gaza, including Mohammad’s own family. We expect and pray that it will be resolved soon and fairly with an acquittal.”

Al-Halabi, the manager of operations for World Vision in Gaza, was arrested on June 15, 2016, during one of his travels between Gaza and Jerusalem, and was later charged with providing financial support to Hamas. He has been on trial since then.

Israel has been targeting Palestinian civil society organizations and their staff, including Al-Halabi, in order to discredit and defund them to stop their development and human rights work with the Palestinians. It recently designated six prominent Palestinian civil society and human rights organizations operating from Ramallah as “terrorist organizations”, threatening to arrest anyone working for them.

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

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