Official From Christian Charity Tortured by Israel

Khalil el-Halabi, 63, the father of Mohammed, Gaza director of the international charity World Vision, who is detained and was tortured by Israeli security for allegedly diverting funds to Hamas. Israel's Shin Bet security agency says el-Halabi confessed to siphoning about $7.2 million a year to Hamas over a period of five years. World Vision says this figure is more than its total budget of $22.5 million over the last decade.

Khalil el-Halabi, 63, the father of Mohammed, Gaza director of the international charity World Vision, who is detained and was tortured by Israeli security for allegedly diverting funds to Hamas. Israel’s Shin Bet security agency says el-Halabi confessed to siphoning about $7.2 million a year to Hamas over a period of five years. World Vision says this figure is more than its total budget of $22.5 million over the last decade.

Israel is intensifying its assault on humanitarian aid efforts in the besieged Gaza Strip, with accusations against officials from two more international agencies.

Meanwhile, the global Christian charity World Vision has rebutted Israeli claims that its Gaza director could have diverted tens of millions of dollars to the Palestinian resistance organization Hamas.

Israel detained Mohammad El Halabi in June, interrogated him for more than 50 days and then charged him with diverting up to $50 million to the military wing of Hamas.

There are also new indications that Israel’s Shin Bet secret police tortured Halabi to extract the confessions it is relying on.

On Monday, Kevin Jenkins, president and CEO of World Vision International, said his organization is “seeking to understand the truth behind the allegations laid against Mohammad El Halabi,” and had suspended operations in Gaza pending investigations.

Jenkins added that “we still have not seen any of the evidence.”

“World Vision’s cumulative operating budget in Gaza for the past ten years was approximately $22.5 million, which makes the alleged amount of up to $50 million being diverted hard to reconcile,” Jenkins said. He also noted Halabi’s signing authority to spend funds was limited to to just $15,000.

Read more at electronicIntifada.net

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This BBSNews article was syndicated from MintPress News, and written by Ali Abunimah. Read the original article here.