The arrests of the head of a U.S. charity operating in the Gaza Strip—and of an UN engineer—put the international spotlight on terrorism finance in the nonprofit world.
The allegations leveled against Christian charity World Vision prompted Australia and Germany to suspend their donations to the NGO earlier this month.
Mohammad El Halabi is the executive director of World Vision in Gaza. He was arrested at the Erez Crossing between Israel and the northern Gaza Strip in June and then charged in August by the Shin Bet—the equivalent of the FBI—with funneling tens of millions in donor aid to Hamas. Both the EU and the United States classify Hamas as a terrorist organization. Some of the funds diverted to Hamas were earmarked to help disabled Palestinians.
The Shin Bet alleges that El Halabi joined Hamas’s military wing, the Qassam Brigades, in 2004, before joining World Vision in 2005. According to the indictment, El Halabi was instructed to join a foreign nongovernmental organization and rise high enough to begin siphoning foreign aid to Hamas projects. In 2010, El Halabi was named executive director of World Vision in Gaza...