UN envoy concerned over World Vision funding Hamas

UN envoy expresses concerns over World Vision's transfer of funds to Hamas, but also calls for fair trial for Muhammad Halabi.

Ben Ariel ,

Hamas terrorist in Gaza
Hamas terrorist in Gaza
Emad Nassar/Flash 90

A UN envoy on Monday expressed concerns over World Vision's transfer of funds to Hamas, but also said that Hamas member Muhammad Halabi, who infiltrated the group, should receive a fair trial.

In a statement, UN envoy Robert Piper said, “Humanitarian operations in Gaza provide a life-line for 1.1 million Palestinians. The allegations made public late last week by the Israeli Security Agency against the head of World Vision’s Gaza operation raise serious concerns for humanitarian organizations working in Gaza.”

“Redirecting relief away from its intended beneficiaries would be a profound betrayal of the trust put in a senior manager by his employer and by the organization’s donors,” added Piper. “Everyone would pay a high price for such acts – beneficiaries and the wider aid effort alike. If proven by a due legal process, these actions deserve unreserved condemnation; Gaza’s demoralized and vulnerable citizens deserve so much better.”

“We now need to wait for the legal process to take its course. Mr. El Halabi is entitled to his right to a fair trial. International human rights law requires the process to be prompt, thorough, independent, impartial and transparent,” he concluded.

The global body of World Vision has denied any knowledge of wrongdoing, but Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold estimated recently that El Halabi “managed to transfer in the decade of his work at World Vision...tens of millions of dollars."

"At the very least, that means there was no supervision of his activities,” he said.

Following the disclosure of the Hamas infiltration into World Vision, Australia announced it would cut funding to the group.