Fruits of power: While most of Gaza live hand to mouth, Hamas makes 6-figure incomes

Utilizing crypto, narcotics smuggling and real estate, Hamas has been diligent in securing the requisite funds to fortify the enclave while planning to attack Israel, paying lip service to the Gazan civilian's plight to neutralize international scrutiny

More than 4 out of 5 Gazans live under the poverty line, and unemployment is just short of half the enclave. However, it seems their official overlords, Hamas, experience no such financial hardships, as they routinely invest their funds in replenishing arms, rockets and a substantial array of underground tunnels. Estimates suggest their annual budget reaches $350 million, but where is the money coming from?
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A sizable portion is actually legal, coming from massive Qatari aid package funneled via the UN. This, by the way, is an arrangement that Israel isn't only comfortable with, but comes with their blessing and encouragement ever since Hamas' ascendancy into power 17 years ago.
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איסמעיל הנייה
איסמעיל הנייה
Ismail Haniyeh
(Photo: AP)
A Qatari official told NBC News that between 2012 and 2021, Qatar aided Gaza to the tune of $1.49 billion for "projects for Palestinian civilians in Gaza". He insisted funds are not directed at Hamas specifically. "Qatari aid is fully coordinated with Israeli, US and UN officials. All goods such as food, medicine and fuel, go through Israel before entering the Gaza strip. The Israeli government is fully aware of the funds."
Former CIA director John Brennan explained the US were notably uncomfortable with this arrangement, but were fully aware of the humanitarian conditions inside Gaza. Truth is, the distribution of funds has no supervision mechanism installed, Qatari claims notwithstanding. Of course, funds from Iranian proxies and from the Islamic Republic itself, raised from extortion, drugs and South American smuggling operations, go equally unchecked.
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חאלד משעל
חאלד משעל
Hamas chief Khaled Mashal, giving order from Kuwait while civilians inside Gaza pay the price
(Photo: AP Photo/Osama Faisal, File)
Adding insult to injury, Hamas taxes Gaza's most vulnerable, levying further for smuggled goods, ensuring a total income stream of about $450 million annually. International sanctions are circumvented by Real Estate investments around the world, worth half a billion a year, mostly utilizing Cryptocurrency for avoiding global scrutiny, with limited effect.
In the summer of 2020, US authorities confiscated millions in Cryptocurrency assets controlled by terrorist organizations, one of which was Hamas. A year later, Israel nabbed several Hamas Crypto assets, worth approximately $8 million.
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