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    Christian charity World Vision organization is seen at a building housing the organisation's office in Gaza City August 4, 2016

    Australia to Stop Contributing to Charity Accused of Supporting Hamas

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    Australia has suspended foreign aid earmarked for the Christian relief organization World Vision, the country’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said on Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Australia suspended financing the Christian relief organization World Vision that was accused by Israel of financing Hamas Islamist organization controlling the Gaza Strip, the country’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said on Friday.

    On Thursday, Mossad, Israel's security agency said that Hamas had infiltrated World Vision, which provides aid to the strip, and has funneled some 60 percent of the group's budget to Hamas's military wing.

    "The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is investigating this as a matter of the highest priority. Officials are urgently seeking more information from World Vision and the Israeli authorities. We are suspending the provision of further funding to World Vision for programs in the Palestinian Territories until the investigation is complete," the DFAT statement said.

    The ministry called the allegations about the charity’s support for Hamas troubling.

    "Australia’s aid to the Palestinian Territories is intended for vital humanitarian and development assistance to the Palestinian community. Any diversion of the generous support of the Australian and international community for military or terrorist purposes by Hamas is to be deplored and can only harm the Palestinian people," the statement noted.

    Hamas, an Islamist political and militant group, seeks the creation of an independent state of Palestine and wants Israel to withdraw from the Palestinian territories it occupied after the 1967 war.

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    Tags:
    humanitarian relief, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, financial aid, World Vision, Australian Foreign Ministry, Hamas, Australia, Palestine, Israel
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