Humanitarian aid official indicted for giving charity funds to Hamas


(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to A serious security affair was exposed on Thursday after the Israeli courts lifted a gag order: Mohammed Halabi, the head of the international aid organization World Vision, has been indicted on suspicion of transferring humanitarian funds to the terrorist organization Hamas.

Mohammed Halabi. Credit: Israeli Shin Bet security force. 

According to the indictment, Halabi, 38, who was arrested at the Erez border crossing in June, took advantage of his position within the organization to systematically fund the Hamas military wing using millions of dollars in charity funds over the course of many years. The money was allegedly used to build terror attack tunnels among other things.

Halabi joined Hamas' ranks in the early 2000s. Upon joining, he underwent operational and military training. He was inserted into the humanitarian organization in 2005 by his Hamas operators, and worked his way up the ranks until he achieved the highest ranking position at his branch, the indictment said. He then used the resources and budgets at his disposal to covertly help Hamas, the indictment alleged.

Halabi is considered an important Hamas asset, as someone who controls millions of dollars. It has been claimed that he was able to funnel 60% of the humanitarian organization's funds into Hamas endeavors.

World Vision is a non-governmental organization considered to be one of the world's largest humanitarian groups, and as such it is supported by many Western countries as well as the United Nations. Its budget comprises some $2.6 billion and it is active in more than 100 countries worldwide. In Israel and the Palestinian territories, the organization has been active since 1975.

Posted on August 4, 2016 .