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HomeNewsMohammed al-Halabi gets 12-year sentence from Israeli court for Hamas link

Mohammed al-Halabi gets 12-year sentence from Israeli court for Hamas link


TEL AVIV — An Israeli courtroom sentenced a former Gaza support chief from a serious worldwide group to 12 years in jail on Tuesday after convicting him of siphoning thousands and thousands of company {dollars} to Hamas, the Islamist group that guidelines the enclave.

Unbiased audits and investigations carried out in recent times discovered no proof of wrongdoing, stated World Imaginative and prescient Worldwide, which employed Mohammed al-Halabi as the pinnacle of its Gaza operation from 2014 till his arrest in 2016.

The Beersheba district courtroom in southern Israel dominated in June that Halabi was responsible of funneling $50 million and tons of metal to Hamas, which the US and European Union classify as a terrorist group.

Israel says Gaza World Vision director diverted millions to Hamas’s military wing

Kevin Jenkins, president of World Imaginative and prescient Worldwide, stated in an announcement on the group’s web site that it was tough to “reconcile” the allegations as a result of the group’s cumulative working funds in Gaza for the previous 10 years was solely round $22.5 million.

In June 2016, Israeli safety forces arrested Halabi on the Erez Crossing Level between Gaza and Israel, and he was indicted in August of that yr. He has been in jail for the previous six years whereas awaiting a decision to the authorized proceedings.

“The arrest, six-year trial, unjust verdict and this sentence are emblematic of actions that hinder humanitarian work in Gaza and the West Financial institution,” World Imaginative and prescient stated Tuesday in a statement on its web site. “It provides to the chilling influence on World Imaginative and prescient and different support or improvement teams working to help Palestinians.”

Lawyer Maher Hanna stated that Halabi maintains his innocence and that he labored to maintain the company’s funds out of the fingers of Hamas. He stated they might attraction the decision to the Supreme Courtroom, the place he expects the choice to be overturned, within the coming weeks.

Khalil al-Halabi, Mohammad’s father, stated in a telephone interview that Israel provided him the possibility to signal a plea deal 12 instances in return for his launch, however that he declined in order to not confess to the “foolish” prices that he categorically denied.

“They threatened him if he didn’t confess, he will likely be sentenced for years,” he stated. “That is revenge for not confessing.”

A part of the prosecution’s case in opposition to Halabi depends on a confession it says he made to an Israeli informant he shared a cell with. His lawyer stated the confession was made below duress.

Halabi was convicted of a number of prices, together with membership in Hamas, financing terrorist actions, offering info to a terrorist group, participating in army workouts, and the possession of a weapon.

Israel has stored a lot of the proof for the trial confidential, from the general public and from Halabi’s authorized crew, citing “safety issues.”

The Australian authorities, among the many largest donors to World Imaginative and prescient, froze its funding to tasks within the Gaza Strip following Halabi’s arrest in 2016. A subsequent Australian authorities probe discovered no proof of embezzlement.

World Imaginative and prescient, a Christian charity based in Portland, Ore., with the acknowledged purpose of serving to youngsters, is lively in additional than 90 nations. It is likely one of the largest nongovernmental teams working in Gaza, the place it says its support has benefited almost 40,000 youngsters.

The true function of the 12-year sentence, stated Hanna, Halabi’s lawyer, is to “make life harder in Gaza.”

“Israel is placing strain on the folks, which places strain on Hamas, which compels them to decide to increasingly more cooperation with Israel,” he stated.

Balousha reported from Gaza Metropolis.

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