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Middle East: Israel's Gaza accusations - are they politically motivated?

Two development professionals working in the Gaza Strip — one with World Vision and the other with the United Nations Development Programme — have been accused by Israel of working to support Hamas.

If either case reveals that humanitarian resources have supported Hamas, it will no doubt force more intensive reporting and monitoring requirements on organizations working in the region.

World Vision's Gaza office project manager, Mohammed el-Halabi, faces the more serious charge of diverting millions of dollars of the charity's country budget to the Islamic militant group. World Vision has stopped its Gaza operations while investigations continue, but many have suggested Israel's allegations could be more politically motivated than factual.

"Based on the information available to us at this time, we have no reason to believe that the allegations are true," World Vision said in a statement. Waheed Borsh, a UNDP engineer, stands accused of working to prioritize Hamas-friendly projects. "UNDP is conducting a thorough internal review of the processes and circumstances surrounding the allegation," the organization said in a statement to the New York Times.


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