OAN’s Brooke Mallory
5:58 PM – Tuesday, November 7, 2023
Hamas is reportedly the second-richest terrorist group in the world, after the Islamic State, thanks to taxes on items smuggled through tunnels and contributions from international supporters.
The Hamas terrorist group has enormous financial resources, and a recent social media post shared by Israel’s Embassy in the United States highlighted the divide between the organization’s leaders and the Palestinian people they claim to represent.
The 65-second film states that among terrorist groups, Hamas has an annual turnover of $1 billion, second only to the Islamic State, which is projected to have an annual turnover of two to three times that of other terrorist organizations.
It mentions that because Hamas prioritizes tunnel construction above essential infrastructure like water treatment and wells, 12% of Gaza’s pediatric fatalities are due to tainted water.
It also calculated the estimated net worth of a number of Hamas officials, all of whom reside in Qatar, hundreds of kilometers away from Gaza. Senior leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Khaled Mashal are both estimated to be worth $4 billion, while Abu Marzuk, the deputy chair of the Hamas Political Bureau, is worth $3 billion.
Going one step further, the website i24news provided a recent estimate of Mashal’s wealth of around $5 billion, with an investment portfolio that includes real estate developments in the Arabian Gulf and banks in Egypt.
It implies that hundreds of middle-class to upper-class Hamas officials have amassed major fortunes, frequently as a result of the 20% levy imposed on all contraband imported via the group’s underground tunnel network and through foreign supporters.
Apart from generating personal profit, Hamas assets are frequently utilized to pay terrorists incarcerated or their families. The monthly payments range from $400 for those serving up to three years to $3,400 for those serving thirty years or more.
This is in an area where 60% of Palestinians make less than $60 a month, the international poverty level.
While countries and organizations are making every effort to seize Hamas’s assets, enforcement can be challenging. Due to the seizure of many bitcoin accounts associated with Hamas three years prior, the U.S. Justice Department has been looking into the group’s usage of cryptocurrencies.
Al-Qassam Brigades, the group’s military arm, declared in April that it would cease accepting bitcoin donations after many contributors were identified and prosecuted by U.S. authorities. Still, Israel discovered and froze a number of accounts following the strikes on October 7th, indicating that some are still in existence.
The U.S. Department of Treasury imposed sanctions against “Hamas operatives and financial facilitators” on October 18th. These included Buy Cash, a virtual currency corporation, and eight people with bases in the West Bank, Sudan, Turkey, Qatar, and other locations.
“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,” said Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen. “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.”
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