An Israeli court on Wednesday convicted Mohammad al-Halabi of all charges against him but one, strongly suggesting that Christian aid donations that passed through his hands made their way to the pockets of Hamas terrorists.
From late 2014 to 2016, Halabi served as Gaza director for the global Evangelical Christian aid organization World Vision. The donations from Christians around the world that were transferred to his office were meant to help the disadvantaged of Gaza.
But in early 2016, Israel arrested Halabi on suspicion he had been diverting large amounts of money to Hamas.
Over the following 27 months, Israel repeatedly extended Halabi’s remand while evidence against him was examined, even as the international community howled for his release.
On Wednesday, a Beersheva court finally determined that Halabi was guilty.
Details of the case are scarce as much of the evidence presented remains classified. One reason for this could be that testimony was provided by sources in Hamas-ruled Gaza who’s anonymity must be maintained for their own safety.
Israel Today reported on this back in 2016 when a representative of the Australian government visited the country to find out what was going on. Australia is a major donor to World Vision, and was deeply disturbed by the possibility of money provided by its citizens funding terrorist activity.
It remains to be seen how the international community will react to the conviction after so loudly protesting Halabi’s arrest and extended detention. US diplomats reportedly attended a number of Halabi’s hearings at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem. The White House has yet to comment on the matter.