Photo Credit: Wissam Nassar/FLASH90
Ismail Haniyeh supposedly is not part of Mahmoud Abbas' unity government, but he is the one who said a truce is imminent.

The Gaza Strip may be renowned as one of the poorest strips of land on earth – the Strip’s per capita GDP of $3100 per annum puts Gaza in 171st place out of 226 countries, and unemployment hangs steadily around 40 percent – but the economic crunch hasn’t hit everybody in the region.

According to a report released Sunday on the Calcalist website, the Hamas government takes a standard 20 percent “tax” on goods that enter Gaza via the smuggling tunnels. Unfortunately, the government cut of the imports have failed to reach most Gazans, but a certain proportion of Gaza residents have capitalized on the opportunities over the past decade to have become multi-millionaires: The senior Hamas leadership.

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According to the Calcalist, the big winner out of Hamas’ eight-year rule of Gaza is none other than Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, a native opt the Sha’athi refugee camp and former right-hand man to Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.

But in contrast to most refugee families, in 2010 Haniyeh reportedly purchased a 2,500 square meter plot of land in Gaza City for $4 million. Calcalist reported that in order not to draw attention to the purchase, he registered the land in the name of his daughter, Nabil. Since then, he has continued purchasing real estate, under the names of his 13 children.

The paper also reported that there is no shortage of million-dollar villas for sale in Gaza, and no shortage of people to buy them, mostly Hamas officials. In the words of one Gaza real estate analyst, “two years ago, he (an individual with close ties to Hamas who forked up the money for a luxury villa) didn’t have enough money for a pack of cigarettes.”

Another popular “arrangement” was partnership between Hamas and Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt. Khiret a-Shater, an Egyptian businessman and senior Brotherhood official, was known to transfer millions of dollars in cash to the Hamas government, and to senior Izzadin el-Qasm officers. But some of the Hamas members preferred safer grounds for their “investments,” and so teamed with a-shater to purchase property in Egypt.

According to Dr Ahmed Karima, a senior lecturer at al-Azhar University in Cairo, Hamas has transformed from a resistance movement to a political party representing no less than 1,200 millionaires.

Other Hamas officials who have become rich since the group staged a violent coup in Gaza in 2006 include Politburo Chief Khaled Mashal, who enjoys a bank stash of $2.6 billion, much of which is stored in Qatari and Egyptian banks.

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86 COMMENTS

  1. The ignorance hate and thievery continues the people r blinded by false promises and lack of education jobs food
    The few take advantage of their own people
    The hate is taught and they keep the people from elevating themselves thru instilled hate

  2. Of course, Palestine has for years been run by a Kleptocracy. They steal all the funds given to them by UNRA, the EU and the US and funnel the $$$ to themselves and not to their people. Follow the $$$$$. Gaza doesn’t even have warning sirens or bomb shelters as they do in Israel. That is why they are having so many casualties. Cost too much $$$ and the Chiefs would have less that they can steal.

  3. They use the aid to run business outside Gaza and have abodes in Dubai and Qatar! How come the billions of funds have no effect on the poverty stricken strip, how is the money been used? 40% for weapons and remaining 60% share among the top dogs!

  4. Arafat stole hundreds of millions of dollars from his people and nobody ever found it. He could have used the money for good. They offered him most of the West Bank and all of Gaza in 2000 for a peace treaty and he refused, starting Intifada 2. Then the Arabs complain about not having their own state and send missiles into Israel. Some cult of arseholes.

  5. If this is true then prove it. Are you in Gaza? Send pics. Dont just comment because you are conditioned to disagree with everything Jewish. Try and man up a bit and focus on what is true no matter where it comes from. It gets easier the more you try it. The truth that is.

  6. If this is true then prove it. Are you in Gaza? Send pics. Dont just comment because you are conditioned to disagree with everything Jewish. Try and man up a bit and focus on what is true no matter where it comes from. It gets easier the more you try it. The truth that is.

  7. If this is true then prove it. Are you in Gaza? Send pics. Dont just comment because you are conditioned to disagree with everything Jewish. Try and man up a bit and focus on what is true no matter where it comes from. It gets easier the more you try it. The truth that is.

  8. and in your prejudiced little world, your hate continues to go round and round until one day…bam..the truth…. but it will be too late. My advice is…drop the hatred and live decently. I really recommend life without hatred and with truth…no matter what that truth is…Muslim lands? What is that? Do I tell all my Muslim friends to go back to your desert because South Africa is not Muslim?

  9. and in your prejudiced little world, your hate continues to go round and round until one day…bam..the truth…. but it will be too late. My advice is…drop the hatred and live decently. I really recommend life without hatred and with truth…no matter what that truth is…Muslim lands? What is that? Do I tell all my Muslim friends to go back to your desert because South Africa is not Muslim?

  10. and in your prejudiced little world, your hate continues to go round and round until one day…bam..the truth…. but it will be too late. My advice is…drop the hatred and live decently. I really recommend life without hatred and with truth…no matter what that truth is…Muslim lands? What is that? Do I tell all my Muslim friends to go back to your desert because South Africa is not Muslim?

  11. That is what they do with all the money being given to them from all the Western Suckers. Buy bombs and vilas, no money for food, fuel, or their own people. SAND PIRATES, that is who they really are. Write to your Governments and stop the money flow.

  12. Wake up, Muslim brothers! Investigate them! This is unacceptable to your people! Maybe they are just using you & your people for their personal benefits & interests! There’s no harm in finding it out! Look! Maybe they are using you, people not for general public interest but for selective persons only! Find it out as well if their leaders are present in Gaza & visible at all times? If not visible in general public? Something wrong!

  13. Anyway! We don’t care & give a damn if your leaders are loathing you people! Look! They don’t care if some of your civilians are dead as human shields! Your people are in danger & die! But your leaders have reasons to live because they have monies! The people died without even decent burial! They don’t care! Have you seen them there with people outside the street? None! So, means they don’t give a damn to their own people!

  14. More BS propaganda , they have a national health service (unlike the USA) and spend a higher % revenue on social infrastructure than any western government despite being blockaded by land, sea and air , nice try anyway, but don’t let facts $crew up your day……..

  15. That all major news media houses are owned by Jews is just another anti-semitic slur. Last I checked neither the Hearst family nor the Murdoch’s are Jewish. The list continues. So your facts are all wrong. Check it out for yourself or are you afraid of the truth?

  16. If the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and all their allies wanted Peace, they would not have been firing missiles at Israel, kidnapping and murdering Israelis. They won’t even recognize Israel’s right to exist. You can see all their hate with their online comments. They use their own people as Human Shields.

  17. If the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and all their allies wanted Peace, they would not have been firing missiles at Israel, kidnapping and murdering Israelis. They won’t even recognize Israel’s right to exist. You can see all their hate with their online comments. They use their own people as Human Shields.

  18. Just as Arafat spirited away 80% of the billions of dollars sent to aid his people into private family accounts. In the entire Arab world, the people there suffer because of their leaders and their sectarian religious differences. And they keep a large percentage of their people ignorant and illiterate so that they never realize who their real enemy is. Truth.

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