(CNSNews.com) – World Vision said Thursday it was “shocked” to hear allegations that a senior staff member in Gaza diverted millions of donors’ aid dollars to Hamas for terrorist activity. The international Christian charity finds itself under an uncomfortable spotlight after facing accusations of anti-Israel bias for years.
In response to Israel’s criminal charges against its Gaza operations manager Mohammed el-Halabi, World Vision said its programs are subject to regular internal and independent audits and other controls, aimed at ensuring the aid reaching the intended recipients.
According to a court indictment filed Thursday, Halabi was recruited into Hamas’ military wing in 2004 and tasked to infiltrate World Vision.
Tens of millions of dollars in aid, sent from the U.S. and Europe, had allegedly been siphoned off and used by Hamas for weapons and to build tunnels used by the terrorist group to carry out cross-border attacks, it said.
Halabi was arrested by the Shin Bet security agency while crossing the Israel-Gaza border on June 15. At the time, World Vision described him as a “widely respected and well regarded humanitarian.”