NewsThe Hamas leader lives a luxurious life in Qatar. The Gaza Strip? Not for him

The Hamas leader lives a luxurious life in Qatar. The Gaza Strip? Not for him

Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh
Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh
Images source: © Getty Images | 2021 ATPImages
ed. BKW

8:23 AM EDT, October 18, 2023

Ismail Haniyeh lives in Qatar, officiating in a stylish office in Doha, the capital of the country. He leads a comfortable life in the monarchy in the Persian Gulf, far from the hardships of the Gaza Strip. An Israeli newspaper looks critically at these sybaritic living conditions of the Hamas leader, noting that it also arouses distaste in Palestine.

After a brutal Hamas attack on Israel on October 7 at 2 pm Eastern Time, a video began circulating online showing the leader of the terrorist group Ismail Haniyeh in his elegant office in the capital of Qatar, Doha. The man was observing military actions and the bloody results of his subordinates' actions, as a result of which many hundreds of Israelis lost their lives.

"Times of Israel" has decided to take a closer look at the figure of a commander, who from a distance, from his comfort zone, sends his people to death and orders them to take the lives of innocent civilians. The newspaper describes the career of the Hamas leader, responsible for starting the war.

Ismail Haniyeh was appointed as the prime minister of the Palestinian Autonomy in the Gaza Strip, and his wealth quickly grew due to the control he and other ministers in the Hamas government had over the Gaza economy and tariffs imposed on goods imported into the Gaza Strip from Egypt. According to a report from the Israeli news service Ynet, Hamas representatives, including Haniyeh, imposed a 20 percent tax on all trade passing through the tunnels.

Over the years, many Palestinians have criticized Haniyeh for living a comfortable life away from the hardships of the Gaza Strip, in the oil-rich monarchy in the Persian Gulf. In Qatar, not only he but also other leaders of this terrorist group have found refuge. According to a report by the Saudi weekly "Al-Majalla", the smuggling market also turned them into millionaires.

According to the Egyptian magazine "Rose al-Yusuf", in 2010 Haniyeh spent 4 million dollars on a beachfront plot in Gaza near the Shati refugee camp where he grew up. He registered it in his son-in-law's name. He also purchased several buildings in Gaza City, which he then registered to some of his thirteen children.

Away from the nightmare of Gaza, the head of Hamas enjoys life

His wealth contrasts with the poverty prevailing in the Gaza Strip, where about half of the population is unemployed, and the GDP per capita reached around $5600 annually in 2021, making it one of the poorest places in the world.

As noted by the "Times of Israel", Gaza's economy is largely dependent on foreign aid. Qatar tops the list of donors - it is estimated that the Persian Gulf monarchy has donated over $1.5 billion in the past decade. However, the money was not used to fix the economy, but for scholarships for public officials and poor families.

According to many sources, the wealthy leaders of Hamas and their sons live a worldly life. They do not shy away from alcohol and spend time with women in luxurious nightclubs. They are owners of generators and sell electricity to residents of areas suffering from a shortage.

The lifestyle of the Hamas elites has become the subject of a campaign on social media in Palestine. The slogan under which it was conducted - "Our hands are clean" - was, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute, an allusion to a speech delivered by Haniyeh in 2009 on the occasion of the 22nd anniversary of the founding of Hamas. He said: "Our hands are clean. We do not steal funds, we do not own property nor do we build villas".

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