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October 6, 2015 / 23 Tishri, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘billionaire’

Hamas Officials Get Rich in Gaza

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

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.

Philanthropist Billionaire Edgar Bronfman Dead at 84

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

Edgar Bronfman, the billionaire former beverage magnate and leading Jewish philanthropist, passed away Saturday. He was 84.

As the longtime president of the World Jewish Congress, Bronfman fought for Jewish rights worldwide and led the successful fight to secure more than a billion dollars in restitution from Swiss banks for Holocaust victims and their heirs. As a philanthropist, Bronfman took the lead in creating and funding many efforts to strengthen Jewish identity among young people.

According to a statement, he died peacefully in his home in New York, surrounded by family.

Bronfman spent the 1950s and 1960s working with his father, Samuel, at Seagram Ltd., the family’s beverage business. He became chairman of the company in 1971, the year of his father’s death.

Just a year earlier, in 1970, Bronfman took part in a delegation to Russia, to lobby the Kremlin for greater right for Jews in the Soviet Union. He would later credit the trip for inspiring his increasing interest in Judaism, saying: “It was on those trips to Russia that my curiosity was piqued. What is it about Judaism, I asked myself, that has kept it alive through so much adversity while so many other traditions have disappeared? Curiosity soon turned into something more, and that ‘something more’ has since turned into a lifelong passion.”

In 1981, Bronfman became the president of the World Jewish Congress, stepping up the organization’s activism on behalf of Jewish communities around the world. From his perch at the WJC, in addition to battling with the Swiss banks, he continued the fight for Soviet Jewry, took the lead in exposing the Nazi past of Kurt Waldheim, and worked to improve Jewish relations with the Vatican.

Police Raid Israeli Diamond Billionaire’s Geneva home

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Swiss police staged a mysterious raid on the Geneva home Israeli diamond billionaire Benny Steinmetz, according to an anonymous source close to the incident and who was quoted by Bloomberg News.

Geneva’s public prosecutor reportedly ordered the raid on the basis of a request by the Guinea government, but no one is making any comments or explaining why the raid took place.

Police did not confiscate nay documents.

Steinmetz’s BSG Resources mining company owns 51% of the Simandou iron ore deposit in Guinea, which is reviewing mining license. A U.S. grand jury in April began investigating allegations that Steinmetz’s BSG company paid bribes for mining rights in Guinea.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/police-raid-israeli-diamond-billionaires-geneva-home/2013/09/12/

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