The strange case of Mohammed el Halabi

A Palestinian man jailed in Gaza by the Israeli authorities on the basis that he streamed $50 million from the Australian Government to Hamas, a organization labeled as being a terrorist group by both Israeli and Australian governments. Despite an audit by DFAT the Israelis continued to detain Mohamed el Halabi even though he has the full support of World Visions founder here in Australia, Kim Costello, the brother of the former treasurer of Australia, Peter Costello.

Nikita – Amnesty International (click CC for subtitles to overcome poor sound)

One can only conclude that Israeli authorities just pick up whom they wish and make up fictitious charges that could never be upheld in a properly constitued court of law. How does a young Palestinian man funnel money from the Australian Government to a terrorist organization? How fanciful is that?

The other aspect of this case is that it is not an isolated incident. Similar allegations were made against APHEDA (Union Aid Abroad) which had received $11 million from the Australian government and it was alleged by both right wing politicians both in Australia and Israel that Union Aid Abroad was funding Hamas instead of providing monies for agricultural projects in Gaza to grow fresh food.

Once again an audit was conducted. And despite that, the funding of Union Aid Abroad funding was pulled. This is ludicrous. This highlights the conduct of Australian, Israeli and United States governments that in concert with each other are attempting to withdraw all funding from NGOs and welfare organizations, which were set up because Palestinian land was stolen during Al Nakba in 1948. They set up these welfare organizations to assist the refugee Palestinians from their own houses.

Many Palestinians still carry the key to their residences which have been stolen by settlers under the full support of the Israeli military. So once again, we see the the colonial settler states implement illegal policies and then claim that they are not ‘failed democracies’. Full democratic rights need to be restored to the 800,000 Palestinians who have been made political prisoners in their own land since the Six Day War in 1967.

Free Free Mohamed El Halabi. Free Palestine from the river to the sea.

Ian Curr
2 April 2022

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