Running a charity involves a whole lot of work, and more often than not, it can be a thankless task. However, Christian charities do seem to come under the microscope all the more for the values that Jesus Christ has set is far above the world’s standards. Hence, it is rather shocking to learn that Israeli authorities allege that millions of pounds in donations to one of the world’s largest Christian charity organizations -- World Vision -- has been diverted secretly to the Islamist group Hamas.
Part of the diverted funds is touted to include £60,000 of UK money, which ended up as a partial contributor when it came to constructing a base for the Hamas militants. The Israeli investigators have already arrested Mohammad El Halabi, the manager of operations for World Vision in Gaza, on June 15th this year as Mohammad El Halabi made his way home from standard meetings. He then spent 50 days in Israeli state detention, and was charged on August 4th with providing support to Hamas. Needless to say, World Vision themselves were aghast to learn of such charges against Mohammad.
Israel’s Shin Bet is the equivalent of the MI5 in the UK, claims that Mohammad is a Hamas operative who managed to infiltrate the charity World Vision upon internal instructions, and worked his way up to being its director in Gaza. Along the way, he has been accused of siphoning a whopping £5.3 million every year to the militant group Hamas. In other words, approximately 60 per cent of all World Vision’s funds were originally intended to ease the level of suffering in the Gaza Strip, but have been diverted to Hamas.
The Shin Bet claimed that "$80,000 received from the United Kingdom went to construction costs of the base, paid in cash, while salaries were paid to terrorists who worked in the construction of the base."
Needless to say, British officials are not too happy about this development and would do their part to check out the allegations. It is not surprising to hear that the money which was allegedly funnelled to Hamas had come from the UK government. However, it must be noted that Shin Bet was rather vague if the alleged money was originally sourced from the Department for International Development (Dfid) or from private donations.
World Vision has decided to stand by Mohammed El-Halabi. and are “shocked” to learn of the development. World Vision said, "We continue to call for a fair, legal process. Based on the information available to us at this time, we have no reason to believe that the allegations are true."
It is rather shocking to hear of this, as the Shin Bet claimed that Mohammad is a Palestinian man from Gaza. Not only that, he has been accused of being a lifelong member of Hamas, being military trained at the turn of this century before receiving orders from Hamas "to infiltrate World Vision" in 2005. It looks like Christian organizations would need to step up their auditing process in order to prevent something like this from happening in the future.