Danny Danon at JPost Annual Conference.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Following reports that Hamas infiltrated a large international aid organization operating in Gaza and redirected tens of millions of dollars – 60 percent – of the organization’s budget to its “military” wing Israel's Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon announced a new initiative hoping to battle humanitarian funds being diverted to Hamas.
According to Danon, Israeli intelligence has found a new trend in Hamas exploiting humanitarian groups.
Danon explained, “We are initiating today a diplomatic battle against the diversion of humanitarian organizations’ funding towards Hamas’s terror infrastructure.”
“We will not relent until the UN and other aid organizations begin to track and follow every dollar that enters the Gaza Strip,” he continued.
Danon stated that he also spoke with UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon asking that the UN work to implement comprehensive over sight mechanisms that would stop humanitarian aid funds from reaching the hands of terrorist organizations.
In early August a senior Shin Bet source explained that The World Vision organization
, which operates in 100 countries and employs 46,000 people, fell victim to a complex Hamas takeover scheme.
The Shin Bet sourced added that Hamas’s armed wing stole $7.2 million a year from the budget, which was supposed to pay for food, humanitarian assistance, and aid programs for disabled children, and channeled the funds to buy weapons, build attack tunnels, and to other preparations for war with Israel.
Money stolen from World Vision was also used to build a military base in Gaza, and to pay the salaries of Izzadin Kassam Brigade “military” wing members.
Hamas used the millions to purchase what items needed to build and maintain its military facilities and tunnels, such as metal, fences, covers for greenhouses, and pipes, according to the investigation.
World Vision was unaware of the fact that it was being exploited to channel funds toward war, the Shin Bet source stressed.
Danon had also personally contacted international organization that operate in Gaza, demanding that they work to insure that Hamas doesn't exploit their attempts to help Palestinian civilians.
“The UN and other international organizations must put an immediate end to the exploitation of their funds and resources by Hamas,” stated Ambassador Danon.
“The international community cannot continued to believe that it is funding greenhouses, while its money is really going towards digging tunnels and purchasing weapons,” he added.
Danon's remarks came as just as the Palestinian Authority's annual donor conference convened with the UN General Assembly.
“Israel welcomes the contributions of the donor countries and places great importance on these efforts,” Danon stated.