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Israel accuses World Vision head in Gaza of funnelling funds to Hamas

Underground tunnel in Gaza.
Underground tunnel in Gaza. [File photo]

Israel has accused the head of a major US-based Christian NGO in the Gaza Strip of funnelling millions of dollars to Hamas and its military wing.

Israel’s Shin Bet security service said in a statement that Mohammed Halabi, World Vision’s operations manager in the Gaza Strip, transferred some $7.2 million – 60 per cent of the organisation’s annual budget – to Hamas illegally during the decade in which he worked for the charity, AFP reported.

The Israeli forces arrested Halabi on 15 June while he was returning to the Gaza Strip and charged him with financing terrorism.

According to the statement, Hamas recruited Halabi ten years ago and directed him to penetrate international aid organisations; it said there is no evidence to suggest the charity knew about his activities.

World Vision has refused to comment on the allegations.

Hamas has denied the claims.


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