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Israel sentences former World Imaginative and prescient support supervisor to 12 years for alleged funding of Hamas

(CP) The evangelical humanitarian charity World Imaginative and prescient is disenchanted that an Israeli courtroom sentenced a former worker to greater than a decade behind bars on terrorism expenses, saying the judgment towards him stands in “sharp distinction” to the info of the case.

The worldwide charity launched a statement Tuesday saying that Mohammad El Halabi, who previously served because the group’s Gaza zonal supervisor, has been sentenced to 12 years in an Israeli jail after a six-year authorized battle over an accusation that Halabi funnelled thousands and thousands of {dollars} to the phobia group Hamas.

“The 12-year sentence introduced right now within the trial of Mohammad El Halabi is deeply disappointing and in sharp distinction to the proof and info of the case,” World Imaginative and prescient declared. “We reject any try to divert humanitarian sources or exploit the work of support organisations working wherever, and we don’t see proof of this stuff on this case.”

In June, Halabi was convicted within the Beersheva District Courtroom. On the time, World Imaginative and prescient decried “irregularities within the trial course of and a scarcity of substantive, publicly accessible proof.”

“We assist Mohammad’s intent to enchantment the decision and the sentence and name for a good and clear enchantment course of based mostly on the info of the case,” World Imaginative and prescient mentioned in its Tuesday assertion, including that his conviction and sentencing are “emblematic of actions that hinder humanitarian work in Gaza and the West Financial institution.”

“It provides to the chilling influence on World Imaginative and prescient and different support or improvement teams working to help Palestinians,” the group argued.

“We’re saddened that our work serving to Gaza’s most susceptible kids has been disrupted for thus lengthy, and we hope to return to Gaza. We stay dedicated to bettering the lives of the susceptible kids within the area, and hope we can advance our humanitarian work within the context of our longstanding cooperation with the related Israeli and Palestinian authorities.”

Halabi was arrested on June 15, 2016, and later charged with diverting $50 million in funds meant for World Imaginative and prescient to Hamas. Then-World Imaginative and prescient Worldwide CEO Kevin Jenkins mentioned in a statement that it is mathematically inconceivable for Halabi to have engaged in such embezzlement.

“World Imaginative and prescient’s cumulative working finances in Gaza for the previous ten years was roughly US$22.5 million, which makes the alleged quantity of as much as US$50 million being diverted exhausting to reconcile,” he insisted. “Mohammad El Halabi was the supervisor of our Gaza operations solely since October 2014; earlier than that point he managed solely parts of the Gaza finances. World Imaginative and prescient’s accountability processes cap the quantity people in administration positions at his stage to a signing authority of US$15,000.”

World Imaginative and prescient performed an investigation into its Gaza operations in response to Halabi’s arrest and located no proof of improper diversion of funds to Hamas on the a part of their former worker. The group once more proclaimed a perception in his innocence in a January 2022 statement asserting, “Now we have not seen something that makes us query our conclusion that Mohammad is harmless of all the costs.”

The charity additionally famous that Halabi refused plea agreements as a result of he has “so steadfastly assert[ed] his innocence” even when the plea sentences supplied reportedly would have had him free by now.

A source who spoke with The Christian Put up in August 2016 advised that the costs towards Halabi could represent retaliation towards the charity for criticism directed at Israel by Steve Haas, who served as vp and chief catalyst for World Imaginative and prescient US.

Haas gave a speech at Massachusetts’ Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 2014, suggesting that Israel was perpetrating “the most important and longest occupation of one other folks group in trendy historical past.” He additionally condemned the “oppressive” authorized system in Israel and took concern with Christians’ sturdy assist for the nation.

Charity Navigator provides World Imaginative and prescient a four-star ranking awarded to “distinctive” charities. A four-star ranking signifies that donors can “give with confidence.” It additionally recognized the group’s income within the fiscal 12 months 2020 as greater than $1.2 billion.

© The Christian Put up

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