Days of Palestine

Israeli occupation convicts Gaza aid worker after 6 years of detention

Mohammed El Halabi, World Vision's area development programme manager, 8 August 2016
M.Y | DOP -

An Israeli court in Beersheba, on Wednesday, accused the former Director of the World Vision aid organisation in Gaza, Mohammad El-Halabi, of being affiliated with a “terrorist organisation” and transferring the organisation’s funds to the group.

The court, however, did not specify a sentence range for El-Halabi but scheduled 10 July as the date to announce his sentence.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said it was aware of the Beersheva District Court conviction of El-Halabi for “providing information to the enemy (in reference to Hamas), and a range of other serious security offenses.”

El-Halabi, 44, from the Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza, was jailed in July 2016 and, since that time, he has had 170 trial sessions. El-Halabi, married and father to five, is subjected to severe investigation conditions and torture after refusing to confess to the charges against him, and reports say that he partially lost his hearing due to torture.

US-based World Vision, on several occasions, has rejected the accusation against El-Halabi and his arrest was met with an international outcry, especially from the European Union and the US, that were following his case.

On Wednesday, the Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs called on the international community to take actions to stop the judicial “farce” to which El-Halabi subjected to 170 trial sessions without any real charges.