As Gaza collapses, Hamas leaders make billions abroad

November 9, 2023 by Baruch Yedid - TPS
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While nearly one million Palestinian residents of Gaza are displaced by war, Hamas’s top leaders and their families have been enriching themselves.

Reports indicate that the Hamas leadership controls an investment portfolio estimated at close to $1 billion dollars and owns assets in Sudan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Algeria, Egypt and other places.

Gaza sources told the Tazpit Press Service Hamas imposes taxes of 20% on goods smuggled from Egypt to the Strip through tunnels. Reports also indicate that Hamas earns an estimated $450 million annually from Gaza’s black market trade.

Iran is believed to provide Hamas leaders with a $100 million expense account.

But three of the terror group’s top figures stand head and shoulders above the rest for amassing personal fortunes in the billions.

Ismail Haniyeh and Family

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh flashes the victory gesture upon his arrival at the Rafah border crossing from Egypt after reconciliation talks with the Fatah movement  Sept. 19, 2017. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.

At the very top is Ismail Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ politburo, whose personal fortune is estimated at $4 billion.

Haniyeh mostly divides his time between Qatar and Turkey, with periodic visits to Iran and Lebanon.

Sources in Gaza say that the Haniyeh family owns many real estate properties in the Strip, as well as electrical equipment and furniture companies, in partnership with the Shalesh family, which enjoys family ties with Haniyeh.

Haniyeh’s son, Abdel Salam, has drawn criticism for using his position overseeing youth sports to enrich himself. He serves as chairman of the Amuaj Council for Sports and is also a member of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports. Abdel Salam’s ties to Qatar, which hosted the 2022 World Cup, raised further questions.

Abdel Salam also owns numerous properties around Gaza.

He raised Palestinian ire several years ago for a photograph with his father next to his new luxury car, an advanced Nissan model on the streets of Gaza.

The extended Haniyeh family also has partnerships in concrete factories, stone crushing facilities and a jewellery store.

Khaled Mashaal and His Deputy

Qatar-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Khaled Mashaal, the leader of Hamas abroad and former head of the political bureau, lives in Qatar.

The Lebanese newspaper, Al-Majlah reported in 2021 that Mashaal and his deputy, Musa Abu Marzouk, exploited international aid funds and donations directed to the Gaza. Mashaal used the money to build up a valuable collection of real estate holdings in Egypt, Qatar and the Persian Gulf, while Marzouk now controls 10 large companies that deal in finance.

Both Marzouk, who has a reported personal wealth of $3 billion, and Mashaal, travel widely for Hamas.

Mashaal in recent years has been photographed spending time in gyms, flying in a private jet, and staying in luxury hotels. For all this, the Arab media gave Mashaal the derogatory nickname, “Son Without a Home.”

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