I draw attention to the House of the ongoing plight of Mr Mohammed El Halabi, former director of World Vision Australia, who worked in Gaza and on the West Bank. Mr El Halabi was arrested in 2016 by Israeli authorities on the allegation of funnelling $50 million of World Vision money to the terrorist group Hamas.
It’s been five years since his arrest and the Israeli authorities have yet to prove the allegations made against him or release him. There are serious ongoing concerns about Mr El Halabi’s welfare, given his restricted medical care and limited visitation rights.
There have also been a number of significant restrictions placed on his legal team. Despite 156 court appearances, still no evidence has been presented to substantiate the charges that have been made against him.
Investigations conducted by our own Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, independent auditors, as well as World Vision itself, have all failed to produce any evidence that any money was ever diverted by Mr El Halabi.
Given that no evidence has been presented thus far by the Israeli authorities to substantiate the allegations, we must continue to place pressure on Israel to finalise Mr El Halabi’s trial without further delay and ensure that human rights are adhered to in this matter, including due process and the rule of law itself.