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A World Vision worker hugs a friend.
A World Vision worker hugs a friend. (World Vision International/Facebook)

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The World Vision director accused of funneling ministry money to Hamas pleaded not guilty at his trial this week.

"World Vision has not seen any credible evidence supporting the charges (against Mohammad El Halabi). Access to any such evidence would help us address any potential gaps in our systems. We remain committed to understand the truth behind the allegations made against Mohammad El Halabi and determine what, if any, changes we need to make," World Vision CEO Kevin Jenkins said in a statement.

Israeli authorities arrested Halabi where he was stationed in Gaza in summer 2016.

After his arrest, the Shin Bet alleged Halabi admitted to being a Hamas activist and using his position "to divert the humanitarian organization's funds and resources from the needy to benefit of Hamas' terrorist and military activities," Charisma News previously reported.

Jenkins says World Vision suspended its humanitarian work in Gaza and hired a global accounting firm to conduct a forensic audit. Thus far, the audit has not yielded any concerns against the organization or Halabi himself.

"World Vision condemns any diversion of aid funding and strongly condemns any act of terrorism or support for those activities. None of the allegations against Mohammad El Halabi have been tested in an open court, and we support the ongoing presumption of his innocence," Jenkins said.

Jessilyn Justice @jessilynjustice is the director of online news for Charisma.

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