Dr. Danny Lamm, President of the Zionist Federation of Australia, expressed his outrage over allegations that Mohammad El Halabi, the director of the Gaza branch of World Vision has been using his position to divert funds and resources from the needy to benefit Hamas’ terrorist activities.
The Israeli Security Services allege that El Halabi redirected $7.2 million every year since 2010 by creating fictitious agricultural programs and then transferring the money to Hamas to finance the terror tunnels and the purchase of weapons.
Dr. Lamm said, “if proved to be true, this raises some major questions about aid organisations currently active in Gaza and the way they operate by hiring locals to oversee their operations. This is not the first time allegations have been made about a supposedly reputable organisation, and sheds serious doubt on the entire issue”.
It has been revealed that the Australian Government has given World Vision some $5 million over the past 3 years intended for projects in the Gaza Strip. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade announced this morning that they have suspended funding for World Vision’s charity work in the Palestinian territories while the issue is being investigated.
Dr. Lamm said, “I commend the government for taking swift action in suspending funds while the issue is under investigation and urge them to take it further as a matter of utmost urgency. While we cannot be sure where Australian funds were directed at this stage, it has already been revealed that money donated from the UK was used to create a Hamas military outpost. The very notion that money donated in good faith by Australia to assist Gazans could have potentially been used to fund the Hamas terror machine is frightening. One has to wonder what other organisations have been infiltrated by Hamas for similar purposes”.
Dr. Lamm concluded, “given the incredibly tight grip Hamas holds over the majority of institutions in Gaza, this latest issue shows that even one of the largest international charity organisations is not immune from Hamas’ corruption. We trust that the Australian Government will take the appropriate action to ensure that this does not happen again.”
For more information contact:
Emily Gian, Media and Advocacy Director, ZFA – firstname.lastname@example.org