B’nai B’rith has issued the following statement:
B’nai B’rith International condemns the Gaza Operations of World Vision, a humanitarian aid organization, for reportedly diverting millions of dollars to finance the terrorist organization Hamas. On June 15 Mohammed El-Halabi, manager of operations for World Vision in Gaza, was arrested at the Erez Crossing, which is near Gaza, and admitted to investigators that he is a member of Hamas. El-Halabi told the police that in 2005 Hamas ordered him to infiltrate the Christian humanitarian aid organization.
El-Halabi allegedly stole $10 million from World Vision that Israeli officials say was then used to acquire weapons for use by Hamas.
Non-governmental organizations located in Gaza must be more closely monitored. It’s deeply disturbing that funds raised under the guise of humanitarian aid would be used to dig tunnels or to buy weapons, which have already resulted in the killing of hundreds of Israeli citizens and tourists visiting the Jewish state.
We commend the Australian government’s decision to suspend its support of World Vision. For the last three years Australia has given about $5 million to the organization for its work in Gaza. Today, the Australian government announced that until the investigation is completed, it will no longer provide any financial assistance to the charity.