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115 Court Appearances and Counting: Father of ‘Humanitarian Hero’, Mohammed al-Halabi Speaks Out

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Mohammed Khalil al-Halabi was born on April 2, 1978. He is the second of seven brothers. The al-Halabi family was ethnically cleansed from the town of Al-Majdal in historic Palestine in 1948, to live in permanent exile ever since. Mohammed was born and raised in the Jabaliya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip.

In 2003, Mohammed earned a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Islamic University of Gaza. He is married with five children: Khalil, 15, ’Asem, 13, ’Amro, 9, Rital, 6, and Faris, 4.

In 2006, Mohammed became the Director of World Vision in Gaza, a US charity organisation that, for 40 years, provided essential support to Palestinian communities in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, “serving the most poor and marginalised”. The Australian government provides a large portion of World Vision’s budget.

The charity’s work, like that of other international NGOs operating in the Gaza Strip, became critical after 2006 when Israel imposed a siege on the already impoverished region. Worsening an already stressful situation, several Israeli wars—starting in 2008—killed thousands of Palestinians in Gaza and destroyed much of the economic infrastructure of the Strip, leaving nearly half the population living under extreme poverty.

World Vision ‘shocked’ by Israeli accusations against its manager in Gaza https://t.co/mlCtcp6DkB | #Palestine pic.twitter.com/qGMfwI75gh

— Middle East Monitor (@MiddleEastMnt) August 8, 2016

It was then that Mohammed’s work became essential for the survival of many, especially terminally ill cancer patients and families of fishermen and farmers who had lost their only source of income.

On June 15, 2016, Mohammed was arrested by Israeli occupation forces at the Beit Hanoun (Eretz) Crossing which separates besieged Gaza from Israel, in a joint operation carried out by the Shin Bet security service, the Israeli army and Israeli police. Since then, many have speculated that the real motives........

© Middle East Monitor