Free Palestine Melbourne - Freedom and Justice for Palestine and its People.

Aid group anger as Israel convicts Palestinian World Vision worker of supporting terrorists

by admin 0 Comments

Aid group anger as Israel convicts Palestinian World Vision worker of supporting terrorists

Beersheba: An Israeli court on Wednesday convicted a Palestinian aid worker who has been detained for six years on Israeli charges that he funnelled tens of millions of dollars in relief funds to the militant group Hamas.

The Beersheba District Court found Mohammed el-Halabi guilty of supporting a terrorist organisation but acquitted him of treason, judges reading out the verdict said. They set a sentencing hearing for July.

Halabi, head of Gaza operations for World Vision, an international Christian aid group, was arrested in June 2016, accused of siphoning off up to $US50 million ($71 million) to pay Hamas fighters, buy arms and fund the group’s activities.

Halabi has denied the charges and refused several plea deal offers. He has told Reuters the charges were “a set of lies” meant to target humanitarian work in Gaza.

World Vision Australia – which says it was funded by the federal government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to provide services in the region, disputes Israel’s claims, and says audits by DFAT, by World Vision internally, and by an independent company – found no evidence that money or supplies were diverted.

Hamas, which governs blockaded Gaza, is designated by Israel and the West as a terrorist organisation.

The full verdict was classified but the judges said their conviction centred on a confession by Halabi, which they said was “detailed, coherent, with signals of truth and particular details”. They said the confession matched details in other testimonies and evidence.

Sitting in a guarded court booth, Halabi received the verdict through a translator. His lawyer, Maher Hanna, has denied Halabi ever confessed and said he would appeal once the sentence is announced.

“I don’t know what the court is basing its claim on,” he told reporters. He said the judges’ summary had “nothing to do with the evidence that was presented in court.”

He said the state had failed to produce evidence on what projects Halabi was supposed to have diverted funds from, which governments had donated the money, or how the aid was transferred to Hamas.

“This case was never grounded in any reality. The allegation of $US50 million stolen alone is incompatible with the reality of a $22 million total budget,” World Vision Australia’s former chief executive Tim Costello and former colleague Conny Lenneberg wrote in an opinion piece for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

“Contrary to the Israeli government claims of respect for the rule of law, the conduct of this trial demonstrates a fundamental disregard for the core principles of a fair trial and the overarching political objective which is to strictly control humanitarian aid to Gaza.”

World Vision spokesperson Sharon Marshall said the organisation acknowledged the verdict “with disappointment” and said it would support any appeal because it believed Halabi was innocent.

 

International human rights organisations have criticised Halabi’s prolonged detention and trial. Human Rights Watch said the verdict “compounds a miscarriage of justice”.

On Tuesday, the head of the United Nations Human Rights Office in Palestine, James Heenan, also expressed concern.

Widespread use of secret evidence, reliance on closed proceedings and credible allegations of ill-treatment in detention “paint a picture of enormous pressure on Mr el-Halabi to confess in the absence of evidence,” Heenan said.

“This is a grave mistake and an injustice,” his father, Khalil el-Halabi, told Reuters. “My son is innocent.”

In a separate case running parallel to Halabi’s trial, Israel’s Corporation Authority (ICA), which oversees NGO activities, petitioned a Jerusalem court to dissolve World Vision in Israel, official documents obtained by Reuters showed.

The ICA declined a request for comment.

A 2021 review of the organisation by the Department of Non-Profit Associations and Charitable Companies determined there were “serious flaws” in World Vision’s activities that involved the transfer of funds to parties “known to be terror operatives”, though the report did not provide evidence or elaborate on whether by “terror operatives” it meant Halabi or others.

A judge is set to rule on whether to dissolve the organisation in Israel later this month.

 

Reuters

Article link: https://www.smh.com.au/world/middle-east/aid-group-anger-as-israel-convicts-palestinian-world-vision-worker-of-supporting-terrorists-20220616-p5au6k.html
Article source: SMH
uploaded file
2022-06-24 01:28:28.000000
30 views

Sick and hunger striking Palestinian prisoners need your support

by Admin

An advocate from the UK has made contact and asked for our support in this urgent matter. I have used their text with some minor corrections and additions.

I am contacting you about sick and hunger striking Palestinian prisoners, so that there can be urgent action taken especially for the cases of Nasser Abu Hamid and Abdel-Baset Maatan as they are both critically ill and should be immediately released. Actions such as statements, open letters, letters to the foreign minister, bringing it up in parliament to put pressure on the occupation so that there is intervention done for their release and proper medical treatment that they need and for the call to end administrative detention as we all know it is against international law and a violation of human rights. Details at the end of this post.

Nasser Abu Hamid from the Amari Refugee camp, has been detained since 2002 and sentenced to seven life sentences and 50 years. A cancerous tumour was detected in his lungs in august 2021. The prison stalled his treatment causing his health to decline, and now he is in a coma in the ICU for the past 5 days with his hands and feet shackled. Nasser Abu Hamid was the victim of a medical mistake during the implantation of a tube to empty the air from his lungs because the one who implanted the tube was not a specialised doctor and implanted it in the wrong place. The doctor confirmed that acute inflammation in his lungs, which was caused by a bacterial infection, led to the collapse of the work of his lungs and immune system, which led to him falling into a coma. From the family of Nasser Abu Hamid “The time allotted for our visit was only ten minutes, and the guards refused to let us approach Nasser on the grounds of the coronavirus. And when we were finally allowed to get a little closer, we could barely diagnose Nasser because he was lying on his stomach with his head connected to various tubes of life giving-devices near his bed”. It was also said how the occupation threatened to take Nasser off the medical equipment after “claiming” he wasn’t responding to it. There must be urgent intervention so that he will get the medical treatment he needs and to be transferred to a Palestinian hospital.

Abdel-Baset Maatan, 49 suffers from 2 types of cancer and has reached its final stage. He was detained without charge or trial since October 2021. The occupation refuses to provide him with the medical treatment he needs. The prisoners club say there is a real fear that the cancer has spread to his lung.

Prisoners affairs authority: Ofer prison administration continues to deny the prisoner suffering from cancer, Abdel Baset Maatan, the necessary treatment for his difficult and worrying health condition. After his arrest, the jailers confiscated the medicine he took with him from the house and gave him other medicines claiming they were similar to those he was taking. 

Quoting from the family of Abdel Baset Maatan: “The situation of cancer sick administrative detainee is difficult and it is getting worse day by day. His health is deteriorating and may reach the same stage as Nasser Abu Hamid. His court date was held on December 20th 2021, but the verdict was postponed for a week until examinations and x-rays will conduct. Unfortunately until today there is no examinations, no x-rays have been done, and no new court date has been set” 

Fikri Mansour who is on hunger strike over 50 days, no recent news about him. “The prisoner Fikri Mansour has been on hunger strike for 56 days, rejecting the abuse and the policy of constantly transferring him to solitary confinement.”

http://palestineonline.org/health-condition-of-cancer-stricken-palestinian-detainee-is-deteriorating-in-israeli-custody/

⁦‪Eyad‬⁩ ⁦‪Hrebat‬⁩ is a prisoner living in difficult and complex health conditions and needs surgery. He has been detained since September 21st 2002 and is sentenced to life imprisonment, plus 20 years. ‎Eyad contracted a prostate infection, which led to his inability to excrete urine. He was subsequently transferred to the hospital, and an external tube was installed to remove the urine. ‎Upon his return to prison, the tube ruptured, which led to a laceration in the bladder and prostate, after which he was transferred again to Soroka Hospital. Eyad needed real medical treatment and care. ‎Since his first surgery, Eyad underwent more than 6 surgeries. The doctors discovered he contracted a bacterial infection, caused by improper treatment of the cyst on his prostate, which spread all over his body including lung. Eyad cant speak, can’t talk, can’t sleep due to severity of the pain, he has open and bleeding wound from previous surgery. He also was shacked in hand, leg and neck!

What can you do to help:

Here are examples of tweets that can be tweeted, don’t use these ones as they are just examples, just make sure to use the hashtags for the respective person:

Critically ill Palestinian prisoners such as Nasser Abu Hamid are medically neglected under the occupation which is a crime, and administrative detention is a violation of international law. He must be released and transferred to a Palestinian hospital to recover #FreeNasser

Abdel-Basset Maatan suffers from cancer and he must be immediately released and be treated with the proper medical treatment he needs. The occupation medically neglect palestinians as an act of slow killing. This is unlawful and must be stopped #FreeThemAll #StopAD 

Letters and phone calls to:

Lidia Thorpe: senator.thorpe@aph.gov.au (03) 9232 8140, (02) 6277 3353
Ken O’Dowd: https://www.kenodowd.com.au/constituentenquiryform/ (07) 4972 5465, (07) 4982 4266
Adam Bandt: adam.bandt.mp@aph.gov.au (03) 9417 0772
Janet Rice: senator.rice@aph.gov.au (03) 9381 1446
Mehreen Faruqi: senator.faruqi@aph.gov.au (02) 9211 1500
Maria Vamvakinou: maria.vamvakinou.mp@aph.gov.au (03) 9367 5216, (02) 6277 4249




2022-06-24 01:28:28.000000
61 views

Prisoners’ escape inspires Palestinian protest across West Bank – Updated

by Admin
PALESTINIAN PROTESTERS CLASH WITH ISRAELI FORCES FOLLOWING A PROTEST IN SOLIDARITY WITH PRISONERS AFTER THE ESCAPE OF SIX PALESTINIAN PRISONERS FROM AN ISRAELI PRISON, IN HEBRON IN THE WEST BANK SEPTEMBER 9, 2021. PHOTO BY MAMOUN WAZWAZ (C) APA IMAGES

https://mondoweiss.net/2021/09/prisoners-escape-inspires-palestinian-protest-across-west-bank/

Update: Four of the six fugitives, including Zakaria Zubeidi, were reported to have been captured in northern Israel on Sept. 10-11 since this post was published.

Israeli forces are hunting the West Bank for the six Palestinian prisoners who made their escape nearly five days ago, leading to angry protests over the military occupation of Palestinian land. A Palestinian doctor was reportedly shot to death in Jerusalem today.




2022-06-24 01:28:28.000000
19 views

Defend Palestinian Children

by admin

Dear Friends

This is the petition we have made in support of Palestinian children who are being ill-treated by Israel. If you could sign and share it with your friends/groups It would be much appreciated. We are aiming to get enough signatures and interest to allow us to present this petition to the Australian Senate.   When presented, the petition will be read out in the Australian Senate and entered into hansard.

Below is link to on-line-petition:

http://chng.it/yz2W8rs4JD

Warm regards,

Defend Palestinian Children
Kathleen Halfpenny

kathleenhalfpenny@bigpond.com.au

Related further reading:

https://www.dci-palestine.org/palestinian_children_in_the_israeli_military_detention_system

https://www.breakingthesilence.org.il

http://www.militarycourtwatch.org/page.php?id=a6r85VcpyUa4755A52Y2mp3c4v

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/blogs/childrens-human-rights-network-blog/israeli-ill-treatment-detained-palestinian-minors-must

https://www.btselem.org/




2022-06-24 01:28:28.000000
0 views