The Hamas terrorist billionaires who live in marble-floored mansions

The Hamas terrorist billionaires who live in marble-floored mansions and luxury hotels as they decry Gaza poverty after profiting from misery and terror

  • Estimates suggest some of Hamas’s leaders have a net worth in the billions
  • Israel and other critics accuse the group of spending money on luxuries instead of helping the people of Gaza, meany of whom live in poverty

Conditions in the Gaza Strip have long been dire, with the territory referred to by some as the world’s ‘largest open air prison.’

Even before the outbreak of war in the wake of Hamas’s October 7 terror attack, half of the Palestinians living in Gaza were dependent on food from the United Nations.

Those conditions have only deteriorated over the last month, as Israel continues with a ground offensive into – and bombardment of – the 140-square-mile strip in its mission to destroy the Hamas terror group in response to last month’s massacre.

But while the territory’s 2.3 million people have suffered for decades, several hundred millionaires are registered in the coastal strip.

And while the majority of people in the densely populated territory – which is a quarter of the size of Greater London – languish in poverty and live in daily fear of Israeli air strikes, a select few live in marble-floored mansions and luxury hotels.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (right) is seen on a private plane with other senior Hamas officials

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (centre) is seen in a luxury hotel with two of his sons

Hamas is best known for its military wing. It is believed 40,000 terrorists wear the group’s badge, thousands of whom took part in the October 7 attack. They are armed to the teeth with rifles and rockets, and have vowed to destroy Israel.

But the group is also the de facto authority that governs over Gaza, running organisations including its healthcare system, social services and the media.

It took power in 2006, with its political leader Ismail Haniyeh assuming the role of Prime Minister that year. It remains in control of the territory to this day, and – having called no elections since – is essentially an authoritarian regime.

In the years since taking control over the coastal strip, the group’s leaders have profited off the misery of the Gazan people.

According to the Embassy of Israel in the US, three of Hamas’s most senior leaders (Abu Marzouk, Khaled Mashal and Ismail Haniyeh) have a net worth of more than $3 billion each. The embassy also claims that Hamas’s annual turnover is $1 billion and suggests the group is second only to ISIS as the world’s richest terror group.

In a video, the embassy accused the group of using its funds for building tunnels and arming its fighters rather than for the building of vital infrastructure such as wells and water treatment to improve the lives of the civilians of Gaza.

A study from 2021 suggested that about one-quarter of disease spread in the territory is caused by water pollution, and 12 percent of deaths of young children are due to infections related to contaminated water.

‘While Gazans are deprived of basic needs, Hamas uses aid & funds to line their own pockets,’ the embassy said in a post on X (formerly Twitter). 

Israel has also said that Hamas continues to attack across the border without building civilian bomb shelters, knowing full well the Israeli military will respond.

Instead, Israel says Hamas’s leadership hoards its wealth, uses Palestinians as human shields, and allows the population it claims to govern go hungry.

According to German news outlet Bild, there are four Hamas officials who have grown particularly wealthy over the years – the trio of Abu Marzouk, Khaled Mashal and Ismail Haniyeh – as well as a fourth named Younis Qafisheh.

Hamas took power over Gaza in 2006, with its political leader Ismail Haniyeh (pictured in 2021) assuming the role of Prime Minister that year. It remains in control of the territory to this day, and – having called no elections since – is essentially an authoritarian regime

This handout picture provided by the Iranian foreign ministry on October 31, 2023, shows senior Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal (L) and senior Hamas member Musa Abu Marzouk attending a meeting between Iran’s Foreign Minister and Hamas’ political bureau chief in Doha

Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’s main political leader, is believed to be the richest of the four – despite once vowing to live only on olive oil and za’atar spice.

A 61-year-old father of 13 children, Haniyeh has been in hiding since 2019, living the high-life in luxury hotels in Qatar and Turkey.

Bild reports that he often jets between Tehran, Istanbul, Moscow and Cairo in his private jet to meet leaders in friendly nations, and two of his sons Maaz and Abdel Salam are often seen in Instagram posts lounging on hotel beds in Istanbul or Doha.

Maaz, who is also very wealthy on account of being a real estate mogul, is known on the Gaza Strip as the ‘father of houses’. When he’s in Turkey, he is often seen in the company of attractive women and alcohol, despite his Islamic faith. 

His brother Salam, meanwhile, was disgraced after being found to be siphoning off money as the sports ambassador for Hamas’s ‘Shura Council’ (Politburo), Bild says.

The publication estimates his net worth to be $2.5 million, while the Israeli embassy to the US suggested it was 3 billion euros ($3.2b). Another publication, i24News, wrote last month that his wealth could be as high as $5 billion.

Khaled Mashal, 67, is the former head of Hamas’s political bureau.

He fled Damascus to escape the Arab Spring in Syria and, like Haniyeh, is now living in Qatar. From there, he handles real estate and financial transactions for Hamas.

When he fled Syria, Bild reports, he is said to have taken $1.5 billion from Hamas’s headquarters in Damascus. Israel’s US embassy puts his net worth at $4 billion.

Mousa Abu Marzouk, 72, is another Hamas high-flyer. He is considered the second-in-command within the group, and is a foreign minister of sorts.

After spending 14 years in the US (where he was in 1995 arrested for activities supporting terrorism and deported after two years), he moved from there to Jordan, then to Syria and then to Cairo in 2012.

Despite his arrest, he kept his money, and today Bild says his fortune is estimated at $2 billion, while the Israeli embassy to the US puts it higher, at $3 billion.

The fourth rich senior Hamas official highlighted by Bild is Younis Qafisheh, 67.

Khaled Mashal, the former head of Hamas’s political bureau, is seen playing table tennis

Khaled Mashal is seen working out in a gym (file photo)

Taher al-Nunu, a spokesman for the Hamas-led government in Gaza, poses in front of a marina

He is one of the terror group’s most important financial managers, and has been on the US sanctions list since 2022 on account of being ‘involved in directing Hamas operations and [holding] key positions in several Hamas-controlled companies, including Sudan-based Agrogate Holding and Turkey-based Trend GYO.’

Trend GYO, which is also on the US terror watch list, reported a 2022 net profit of 57.8 million Turkish lira (around two million euros).

However, according to i24News, the wealth accumulated by Hamas’s very top officials is just the tip of the iceberg.

The online outlet suggests that hundreds of mid-to-high-level Hamas leaders are sitting on millions thanks to the taxation of goods brought into the territory and through international donors, mainly in Qatar.

While some estimates of Hamas’s wealth are more conservative, there is no question they have amassed vast amounts of wealth.

In May 2022, the US Treasury Department sanctioned a Hamas finance official as well as other financial facilitators.

It said: ‘Hamas’s Investment Office, whose leadership oversees this network, held assets estimated to be worth more than $500 million, including companies operating in Sudan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and the United Arab Emirates.’

And according to documents obtained by German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, the group has a financial empire outside of the Gaza Strip worth £600 million.

But how has Hamas accumulated its wealth?

On account of it being a terror group, Hamas is cut off from assistance from the likes of the United States and the European Union that both provide support to the Palestine Liberation Organization in the West Bank.

Historically, Palestinian expats and private benefactors in the Middle East provided much of the group’s funding, in addition to some Islamic charities in the West.

Israel has in the past also allowed Qatar to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in assistance to the authorities in Gaza, while other foreign aid comes through the Palestinian National Authority and United Nations aid groups.

But Hamas has also been able to raise its own revenue, taxing goods that move through a sophisticated network of tunnels that avoid the Egyptian border crossing in the south, bringing in food, medicine, fuel and cash, but also arms.

Egypt also allows for the entry of some commercial goods. As of 2021, Hamas reportedly collected upwards of $12 million per month in taxes raised on Egyptian goods imported into Gaza, according to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). 

Today, Iran is one of Hamas’s biggest donors. The country – a sworn enemy of Israel – contributes funds, weapons and military training to the group.

According to CFR, it provides some $100 million per year to Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other groups designated as terror organisations.

Turkey has also been a backer of Hamas and a critic of Israel. Though Ankara says it only supports the political wing of the group, it has also been accused of funding Hamas’s terrorist activities through aid diverted to the group’s military wing.

One of Haniyeh’s sons is seen posing for an Instagram photo in a luxury hotel

Haniyeh’s sons and other Hamas officials are seen in a luxury hotel

A group of Hamas officials are seen during an official visit to Iran

Despite its accumulation of wealth, however, Hamas has avoided responsibility for building infrastructure and protecting the citizens of Gaza.

In fact just last week, Abu Marzouk declared that the political bureau of the terror group is not responsible for protecting the coastal strip’s civilians amid the on-going Israeli bombardment of the territory.

‘We built the tunnels because we have no other way of protecting ourselves from being killed in airstrikes. We are fighting from inside the tunnels,’ he said. 

Passing the buck further, he added: ‘Seventy-five percent of the population of Gaza are refugees, and it is the UN’s responsibility to protect them.’

According to The times of Israel, he then went on to claim that it was Israel’s obligation to provide for the needs of Gazans under the Geneva Convention.

While every source of Hamas’s income may never be fully known, one thing is certain: the group will not be diverting its funds to help the civilians of Gaza, who with each passing day are slipping deeper and deeper into a humanitarian crisis. 

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