The financial sanctions on Iran are taking their toll on Tehran’s terror proxies, including the Hamas terror organization in the Gaza Strip.
The financial pressure and other obstacles the terror group is facing have compelled it to devise creative ways in which it can collect funds and replenish its dwindling coffers.
Hamas has recently announced that it is sending millions of messages in eight languages to Muslims around the world asking them to support it.
The messages were sent in honor of the Eid al-Fitr holiday and enable the donor to “partake in the effort for Palestine and Jerusalem,” Hamas said. Hams has developed the concept of “Islamic Jihad” in which those who support it are fulfilling an important Muslim religious commandment.
Hamas has adopted this method as a means to skirt financial sanctions on institutions and countries such as Iran and even Turkey. Hamas is shifting its focus to support from individuals rather than from states. Hamas has criticized Turkey for its meager contributions, which are apparently much smaller than what it had initially pledged.
Hamas also launders funds through land and commodity transactions and money changers. Through legal commerce, Hamas attempts to hide its financial transactions and funding of its terror networks.
The terror organization has also begun to employ the use of the Bitcoin crypto-coin. Hamas’ clerics have published a decree allowing Muslims to contribute to the financial Jihad using the virtual currency.
The Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas’ vast network of financial channels, based on numerous organizations and charities, appears to be in retreat, and some sources report that the global Muslim Brotherhood is also facing a financial crisis.
Qatar, one of Hamas’ main beneficiaries, has recently turned down a request for funding, the media reported. Qatar is facing international pressure to cease its funding of Islamic organizations and is, therefore, focusing on supporting civilian projects in Gaza.
Hamas is also facing difficulties in Saudi Arabia, in which some 60 businessmen, including several from Gaza, who operated in the country were recently arrested. They are suspected of laundering funds on Hamas’ behalf. Mohammed Khudri, formerly Hamas’ official representative in Saudi Arabia, is among those arrested.
Various sources have indicated that Saudi Arabia has clamped down on Hamas’ finances and has shut down a number of accounts suspected of being linked to Hamas. Pilgrims to the Kingdom coming from the Palestinian Authority (PA) reported that the Saudis have put a limit on their ability to transfer funds out of the country.