Israeli court convicts Palestinian aid worker after six years in detention

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

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

El Halabi, head of Gaza operations for World Vision, an international Christian aidgroup, was arrested in June 2016, accused of siphoning off up to $50 million to pay Hamas fighters, buy arms and fund the group’s activities.

El 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.

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