Israel News for August 4, 2016

Funds to Hamas
An Arab employee of the international NGO World Vision, Mohammad El Halabi, has been arrested and indicted for allegedly funneling tens of millions of dollars of aid money to the military wing of Hamas.

World Vision is a US-based Christian aid group with over 50,000 employees and a budget of $2.6 billion. It operates in close to 100 countries, and has been working with children and economically disadvantaged families in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem since the 1970’s.

The Shin Bet claims that Halabi was planted in the organization by Hamas in 2005, and rose in the ranks to become director of the Gaza branch by 2010. He succeeded in diverting up to 60% of the organizations Gaza budget to the Hamas military wing. Funds were used to pay salaries of terrorists, dig tunnels, purchase weapons and build military bases.

The Shin Bet also said Halabi would transfer to Hamas materials such as steel, digging equipment and pipes that were meant for World Vision agricultural assistance. Thousands of packages with food and medical aid received monthly would allegedly be diverted to Hamas operatives and their families rather than reach Gazan civilians.

The Australian government has announced that it will cut off all funding to World Vision in Gaza and Israel, as a result of the indictment.

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Egypt Strikes
The Egyptian air force attacked ISIS terrorists in northern Sinai, near El Arish, killing 45, including the leader of the ISIS branch in Sinai. The group was suspected of having been responsible for placing the bomb on the Russian aircraft that exploded in October, killing over 200 passengers. Egypt has been battling Islamic extremists in Sinai since 2013.

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Olympic Memorial
The eleven Israeli athletes murdered by terrorists at the Munich Olympics in 1972 were remembered in an official memorial ceremony at the Olympic Village in Rio yesterday. Ilana Romano, the widow of one of the athletes, said, “We were very impressed with the design of the Place of Mourning. This is an historic moment. This is an extremely emotional moment for us, one we have been waiting for since 1972. Our patience finally paid off. The memory of the 11 Munich victims has finally been acknowledged by the International Olympic Committee.”

A “moment of reflection” for the Munich 11 will be held during the Games’ closing ceremony on Aug. 21.

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