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July 23, 2014 / 25 Tammuz, 5774
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Hamas Officials Get Rich in Gaza

Hamas - ruled Gaza may have little economy to speak of - at least for the man on the street.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh
Photo Credit: Wissam Nassar/FLASH90

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.

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.

About the Author: Meir is a news writer for JewishPress.com - and he loves his job.


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84 Comments (Click to Comment)

84 Responses to “Hamas Officials Get Rich in Gaza”

  1. I wonder where all the international aid money went?

  2. They need more aid from Qatar

  3. THEY ARE TWO FACES…

  4. Peter Looman says:

    EN…..waar komen de “”hulp”” centjes vandaan????

  5. Like all Arab leaders

  6. Peter Looman says:

    Juist,bestemd voor de armsten onder hen,….ja,ja.

  7. Jackie En says:

    more learning from history” !!!! Hamas?????

  8. I wonder whether they use Ahava

  9. I wonder whether they use Ahava

  10. Send him a bill for this war…

  11. Thieves as well as terrorists????

  12. I am sure all these money came from Iran but the iranian ppl don’t money to eat !!

  13. Hamas is raping its own people and the people have been brainwashed to keeping them in power by even voting for them then blame Israel for their economic problems. Hamas needs to go before any peace can be attained

  14. And his people are starving! This is where all the dollars in aid are going

  15. Sandra Camhi says:

    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

  16. Same here Jessie Jackson , Al Sharpton with the inner city, Al Gore with the environment

  17. 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.

  18. Ebony Rock says:

    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!

  19. This why Hamas and othet terrorist organization want War and not peace….they make them rich by kimling their people and accusing Israel…..

  20. Biju Abraham says:

    Israel wants peace

  21. JUst the same old 3rd World regime – grow rich on the backs of your own people.

  22. Bernard Baum says:

    So who would you think doesn’t want peace ? Why trade the gravy train for the peace train ?

  23. Following in Arafat’s footsteps…?

  24. with American money

  25. 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.

  26. Skid Marks says:

    TO HELLWITH ALL ALL AL OF ISRAEL’S ENEMIES !

  27. Gary Berry says:

    How can that be since he is all about his people?

  28. I wish your comments were on the front pages of all newspapers and in all the TV news reports!

  29. Karen Bryant says:

    Its always been about power and wealth for the few. Arafat got filthy rich. They don’t care about their own people.

  30. Berell Kohn says:

    Hamas mafia. Put his pocket and didn’t care with Arab people

  31. Stuart Wragg says:

    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.

  32. Stuart Wragg says:

    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.

  33. Stuart Wragg says:

    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.

  34. Mike Minoff says:

    As the United states continues giving all these arab countries money

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