Charges Filed Against WV Gaza Staff: Critical That Work in the West Bank Continues Unimpeded
On June 15th, 2016, Mohammad El Halabi, the manager of operations for World Vision in Gaza, was arrested on his way home from routine meetings. On August 4th 2016, after 50 days in Israeli state detention, Mohammad was charged with providing support to Hamas. World Vision was shocked to learn of these charges against Mohammad. World Vision is taking the grave charges brought against our Gaza staff member very seriously.
World Vision International is taking a number of actions in response to these charges:
1. Suspending our operations in Gaza.
2. Conducting our own internal review.
3. Fully cooperating with the investigation that is under way and will continue to do so throughout the process.
4. Continuing our work for the most vulnerable children throughout the rest of the region outside Gaza.
World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. World Vision has been working in Israel/Palestine for over 40 years, striving to give hope to over 500,000 of the most vulnerable children, through education, health, child protection and resilience programmes.
World Vision subscribes to the humanitarian principles of impartiality and neutrality and therefore rejects any involvement in any political, military or terrorist activities and maintains its independence as a humanitarian aid agency committed to serving the poor, especially children. World Vision has detailed procedures and control mechanisms in place to ensure that the funds entrusted to us are spent in accordance with applicable legal requirements and in ways that do not fuel conflict but rather contribute to peace.
World Vision programmes in Gaza have been subject to regular internal and independent audits, independent evaluations, and a broad range of internal controls aimed at ensuring that assets reach their intended beneficiaries and are used in compliance with applicable laws and donor requirements. We will carefully review any evidence presented to us and will take appropriate actions based on that evidence. We continue to call for a fair, legal process.