by WorldTribune Staff, September 11, 2016
The contracts of 120 Palestinian employees of World Vision in the Gaza Strip were canceled after Israel’s recent arrest of the head of the non-governmental organization (NGO) for diverting millions of the charity’s funds to Hamas.
“They informed 120 employees from World Vision in Gaza they were officially canceling their contracts and stopping all their projects in the enclave,” a World Vision staffer, who declined to be identified, told AFP.
A document viewed by AFP said World Vision “is facing a major crisis that has affected the international NGO, including the source of its funding, and due to this crisis all our activities have been suspended in Gaza.”
Senior employees would be kept on partial salaries, the World Vision source said.
The head of World Vision in Gaza, Mohammad el-Halabi, was arrested by Israel and charged with diverting millions of dollars in both materials and cash to Hamas, including the so-called “military wing” of the terrorist organization, according to a report by Arutz Sheva in Israel.
Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold estimated recently that Halabi “managed to transfer in the decade of his work at World Vision…tens of millions of dollars.”
Following the disclosure of the Hamas infiltration into World Vision, Australia announced it would cut funding to the group.
The court case is to be held in secret, with Halabi’s lawyer saying discussing details could result in jail time. World Vision has called on Israel to open the trial to the public.