The 12-year sentence announced today in the trial of Mohammad El Halabi is deeply disappointing and in sharp contrast to the evidence and facts of the case.
As followers of Jesus Christ, World Vision is accountable to the children and families we serve, to our donors, and most of all to God to be faithful stewards. World Vision emphatically condemns any and all acts of terrorism or support for such activities. We reject any attempt to divert humanitarian resources or exploit the work of aid organisations operating anywhere, and we do not see evidence of these things in this case.
We support Mohammad’s intent to appeal the verdict and the sentence and call for a fair and transparent appeal process based on the facts of the case.
The arrest, six-year trial, unjust verdict and this sentence are emblematic of actions that hinder humanitarian work in Gaza and the West Bank. It adds to the chilling impact on World Vision and other aid or development groups working to assist Palestinians.
We are saddened that our work helping Gaza’s most vulnerable children has been disrupted for so long, and we hope to return to Gaza. We remain committed to improving the lives of vulnerable children in the region, and hope we will be able to advance our humanitarian work in the context of our longstanding cooperation with the relevant Israeli and Palestinian authorities.