While the people in the Gaza Strip live in poverty, with most of the 2 million population struggling to make ends meet, the leaders of Hamas live luxuriously in Qatar.
According to the New York Post, the top three leaders of Hamas in Qatar are worth a combined $11 billion and enjoy extravagant lifestyles. The leaders include Ismail Haniyeh, Moussa Abu Marzuk, and Khaled Mashal.
According to the Embassy of Israel to the United States, Abu Marzuk is worth $3 billion, Khaled Mashal and Ismail Haniyeh both worth $4 billion. Hamas has an annual turnover of $1 billion.
Hamas leaders net worth:
Abu Marzuk $3 billion
Khaled Mashal $4 billion
Ismail Haniyeh $4 billion
Hamas’ annual turnover: $1 billion
— Embassy of Israel to the USA | #IsraelUSA75 (@IsraelinUSA) October 29, 2023
The intricate web of financial support weaving through the Middle East has long been a subject of international scrutiny.
Qatar has long been a paradox in the Gulf, maintaining ties with both Western allies and various Islamist groups. Critics argue that the financial aid flowing from Doha to Gaza’s ruling elite empowers a regime with a track record of violence and radicalism.
The supposed financial assistance, estimated to be in the millions annually, purportedly reaches Hamas leaders through a myriad of channels. Officially, Qatar presents this as humanitarian aid, aiming to alleviate the hardships faced by the residents of Gaza.
However, reports suggest that this money often ends up fortifying the political and military apparatus of Hamas, rather than improving the lives of the ordinary citizens it professes to serve.
The Hill reported:
Qatar has been a prime sponsor of Hamas, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, since at least 2012, hosting its senior leaders and offices in its capital, Doha. It is estimated that Qatar supplies Hamas with between $120 million and $480 million annually. Of the estimated $1.5 billion transferred by Qatar to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip over the past decade, the significant majority — by some estimates, nearly 80 percent — ended up in the bank accounts of Hamas and the group’s operatives and employees. On October 18, the U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on a Qatar-based Hamas operative involved “in the transfer of tens of millions of dollars to Hamas, including Hamas’s military wing.”
Qatar also gives substantial support to Hamas through its Al Jazeera television network, which provides a central platform for Hamas leaders and incitement against Israel. True to form, while Hamas’s rampage against Israeli civilians was ongoing, the Qatari Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that Israel alone was responsible for the violence.
Senator Ted Cruz also introduced the “Hamas Sanctions Act” to deny Hamas funds and safe havens.
The proposed legislation is set to enforce punitive measures against Hamas, its members, and its affiliates, as well as against any nations that support or offer territory for the operational activities of Hamas.
“The United States should use every resource at our disposal, including our diplomatic power and sanctions leverage, for as long as it takes, to ensure that our Israeli allies are able to utterly eradicate Hamas. Instead of countering Hamas and its enablers, however, the Biden administration has spent the last two and a half years indirectly and even directly funding them,” said Cruz.
He added, “The administration poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the Gaza Strip, despite knowing this would benefit Hamas terrorists, and allowed roughly $100 billion to flow to the Iranian regime, which they knew the Ayatollah would pass along to Hamas. The administration also refuses to enforce sanctions against Hamas for terrorism, for the use of human shields, or against those who violate terrorism sanctions and provide Hamas with financial or material support. The Hamas Sanctions Act would end these catastrophic policies, prohibit the administration from allowing further funds from flowing to Hamas and Iran, and end the ability of provide Hamas leaders with safe haven in violation of sanctions.”
More on the bill:
- Sanctions every Hamas member and affiliate known to the U.S. within 15 days.
- Blocks Hamas’ funding by –
- Prohibiting U.S. taxpayer money from going into the Gaza Strip, including by rescinding the Biden administration’s ability to give itself exemptions from anti-terrorism laws.
- Preventing Iran from accessing and raising revenue. First, prevents the Biden administration from unfreezing Iran’s sanctioned overseas accounts, including the known $6 billion and $10 billion accounts in Gulf banks. Second, the bill imposes sanctions on Iran’s “ghost fleet” of oil tankers, which it has used to raise $80 billion since President Biden took office. These sanctions also target tankers’ owners and operators. It then requires the Biden administration to work towards de-certify and de-flag those vessels.
- Blocks Hamas’ ability to find safe havens abroad, including in Qatar or Turkey, by imposing sanctions on hotels, landlords, banks, and similar businesses in allied countries that provide services to Hamas leaders, and by requiring determinations whether such countries qualify as state sponsors of terrorism for hosting Hamas.
- Strengthens and enforces sanctions law against the use of human shields that Sen. Cruz authored and passed into law in 2019. This legislation would renew the legislation that is set to expire, and also sanction Hamas affiliate Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ). It would also prevent the Biden administration from ignoring the 2019 law, as they have been doing.
The Post has learned that Republican Tennessee Congressman Andy Ogles is co-sponsoring a bill to strip Qatar of its status as a U.S. ally unless it kicks out the Hamas leadership.