Israel’s Embassy in the U.S. recently shared a social media post spotlighting the considerable wealth accumulated by the Hamas group in stark contrast to the financial hardships faced by the Palestinian population they assert to represent.
A video, lasting 65 seconds, reveals that Hamas garners a staggering $1 billion annually. This places it just behind the Islamic State in terms of revenue, which is estimated to have two to three times the turnover of Hamas, the National Post reported.
The video further emphasizes that Hamas prioritizes its wealth for constructing tunnels rather than essential infrastructure, such as water wells and purification systems. Consequently, contaminated water is responsible for 12% of child fatalities in Gaza.
Furthermore, the post points out the lavish lifestyles of top Hamas leaders who reside a significant distance from Gaza, specifically in Qatar. For instance, Abu Marzuk, deputy chair of the Hamas Political Bureau, boasts a net worth of $3 billion. Senior figures Khaled Mashal and Ismail Haniyeh both have an estimated net worth of around $4 billion.
Another source, i24news, even suggests Mashal’s net worth might be as high as $5 billion, with investments in Egyptian banks and real estate ventures in Arabian Gulf nations.
Hamas's underground tunnel operations and hefty taxation on smuggled items, coupled with international donations (primarily from Qatar), have apparently paved the way for many of its mid-to-high-ranking officials to amass millionaire statuses.
An MSN report reveals that beyond individual enrichment, Hamas uses its assets to financially support imprisoned terrorists or their families. The compensation can vary from $400 per month for a jail sentence of up to three years to $3,400 for sentences exceeding 30 years. This is particularly startling when considering that 60% of Palestinians survive on less than the international poverty threshold of $60 monthly.
Efforts to clamp down on Hamas's financial resources are ongoing. A recent CNN report delved into a U.S. Justice Department investigation into Hamas's cryptocurrency transactions. This stemmed from the discovery and subsequent seizure of several cryptocurrency accounts linked to the group three years ago.
Hamas’s military division, al-Qassam Brigades, announced last April its decision to cease Bitcoin fundraising, a move following the exposure and prosecution of several donors by U.S. law enforcement. However, Israel's recent identification and subsequent freezing of some accounts, particularly after the Oct. 7 attacks, indicate that some still remain active.
On Oct. 18, the U.S. Treasury Department declared sanctions against what it labeled as “Hamas operatives and financial facilitators.” This encompassed eight individuals across several countries and a virtual currency firm named Buy Cash.
“The United States is taking swift and decisive action to target Hamas’s financiers and facilitators following its brutal and unconscionable massacre of Israeli civilians, including children,” Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen stated.
“The U.S. Treasury has a long history of effectively disrupting terror finance, and we will not hesitate to use our tools against Hamas. We will continue to take all steps necessary to deny Hamas terrorists the ability to raise and use funds to carry out atrocities and terrorize the people of Israel. That includes by imposing sanctions and co-ordinating with allies and partners to track, freeze, and seize any Hamas-related assets in their jurisdictions.”