Politics

Haniyeh manages an enormous monetary community removed from Gaza

The Washington Publish studies that Ismail Haniyeh, the pinnacle of the political bureau of the Palestinian motion Hamas, oversees an enormous monetary community whereas dwelling a whole bunch of miles away from the chaos and violence in Gaza.

Haniyeh, 61, who has been beneath US financial sanctions since 2018, faces intensified financial sanctions from the West as a part of a broader warfare in opposition to Hamas, significantly because the lethal assault launched by the motion, which Washington classifies as a terrorist group, on Israel on October 7, which resulted in about 1,400 deaths, most of them civilians.

US officers have pledged to take strict measures in opposition to Hamas’s monetary community, simply as Israel has vowed to remove it militarily.

Senior officers from the US Treasury Division not too long ago travelled to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Europe as a part of a coordinated marketing campaign to focus on the funding sources of Hamas.

US Treasury officers accuse senior Hamas leaders, together with Haniyeh, who lives in Qatar, a US ally, of dwelling “in luxurious”. Qatar is now attempting to mediate the discharge of greater than 200 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza.

Mark Wallace, CEO of United Towards Nuclear Iran and a former official in President George W. Bush’s administration, instructed the newspaper, “Haniyeh is de facto essential — he is among the bin Ladens on this story,” in accordance with his expression.

He added, “It’s fallacious that he’s dwelling in Qatar in luxurious, seemingly past our attain. Qatar should flip him over”.

Though Hamas and its leaders have confronted US sanctions since 1995, the Treasury Division not too long ago introduced new sanctions in opposition to a bunch of senior Hamas management officers “attempting to undermine the monetary flows that fueled its rampage in Israel”, in accordance with the American newspaper.

The Israeli Overseas Ministry claimed that Haniyeh’s private wealth is estimated at billions of {dollars}, though unbiased consultants say there isn’t any proof to assist this declare.

The monetary sources of Hamas starkly distinction with the acute poverty of the residents of Gaza, even earlier than the Israeli navy launched a devastating bombardment on the sector in response to Hamas’s assault.

It’s unclear whether or not Haniyeh had prior information of that lethal assault, as consultants are divided over the extent of the political wing of Hamas’s management over its navy management, primarily based in Gaza.

Final week, Wally Adeyemo, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, stated, “The US Treasury Division is laser-focused at present on dismantling Hamas’s monetary networks”.

He added that Hamas has lengthy sought to destroy Israel and assault those that don’t subscribe to its ideology.

He went on to affirm, “These teams want monetary sources to assist gas their hate. To take action, they’ve developed methods to entry or circumvent our monetary methods”.

In keeping with Matthew Levitt, a former Treasury Division official who now serves because the director of the Reinhard Program on Counterterrorism, Hamas, “By way of its heavy taxation of Palestinians in Gaza, with levies as excessive as 20 % on imports, Hamas raises as a lot as $400 million per yea”.

Big funding portfolio

US officers estimate, in accordance with the identical report, that Hamas additionally owns a “huge funding portfolio” that “valued at greater than $500 million, and maybe as much as a billion {dollars}, with belongings in Sudan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and the United Arab Emirates, amongst different international locations.”

As well as, the American newspaper quotes Ruth, the director at United Towards Nuclear Iran, saying that Hamas “receives as a lot as $450 million per 12 months in black market”.

The US State Division stated on this regard that Iran gives as much as $120 million to Palestinian teams together with Hamas, whereas consultants estimate that it additionally receives a whole bunch of hundreds of thousands from different worldwide funding sources, together with Qatar.

“General, Hamas spends roughly $1.6 billion on authorities operations in Gaza”, in accordance with Ruth.

Israel and Egypt have imposed a strict blockade on Gaza since Hamas took management of the sector in 2007 after a battle with Fatah, the political get together that controls the Palestinian Authority within the West Financial institution.

These restrictions have harmed peculiar residents in Gaza, resulting in the suffocation of Palestinians from the worldwide financial system.

The newspaper report goes again to say, “Nonetheless, Hamas’s illicit worldwide monetary channels performed a vital position in financing the October 7 terrorist assault, which required it to pay for troopers, munitions and different weaponry to pierce by way of the Israel Protection Forces and a high-tech, costly surveillance system on the border with Gaza”.

On October 18, the Treasury Division introduced sanctions in opposition to Hamas supporters and “monetary facilitators” who comply with the political bureau overseen by Haniyeh.

Who’s Haniyeh?

Haniyeh was born within the Shati refugee camp, west of the Gaza Strip, to oldsters who had been refugees from the 1948 Arab-Israeli warfare.

He was arrested by Israeli authorities for collaborating in protests throughout the first Intifada in 1987, after which imprisoned once more in 1988.

Haniyeh rapidly rose by way of the ranks of Hamas, whereas studies talked about that he was injured in an Israeli airstrike in September 2003 on a residential advanced in Gaza Metropolis.

Haniyeh was chosen as a frontrunner of Hamas by the motion’s council, whose full membership shouldn’t be recognized.

This council promoted Haniyeh to the place of head of the political bureau in 2017 and once more in 2021, granting him one other four-year time period.

In a video launched shortly after the October 7 terrorist assault, Haniyeh appeared in an workplace alongside a bunch of about ten males, all of whom prostrated whereas photos of armed components belonging to the motion’s incursion into Israel had been displayed on a tv in the identical room.

“Treasury officers have repeatedly accused Hamas’s high management of having fun with lavish existence exterior of Gaza whereas common Palestinians undergo the implications of the militant group’s actions”, the newspaper says.

Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh gestures as he delivers a speech over US President Donald Trump’s determination to acknowledge Jerusalem because the capital of Israel, in Gaza Metropolis December 7, 2017 (Photograph: REUTERS/Mohammed Salem)

Adeyemo, the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, stated final week, “very like many Russian elites, senior Hamas officers typically stay in luxurious, whereas the typical Gazan faces dire dwelling circumstances”.

Brian Nelson, the Treasury’s Assistant Secretary for Terrorism and Monetary Intelligence, stated in a speech final month that the funding portfolio permits Hamas officers to “stay in luxurious, together with elsewhere within the Center East, whereas peculiar Palestinians in Gaza face harsh dwelling circumstances and dire prospects”.

Nevertheless, spokespeople for the Treasury Division refused to supply any proof to assist these assertions, in accordance with the Washington Publish, and the Israeli Overseas Ministry additionally refused to supply any proof to assist its claims that Haniyeh and different senior Hamas leaders personally personal billions of {dollars}.

A spokesman for Hamas didn’t reply to requests for touch upon “Haniyeh’s private wealth” despatched by the American newspaper.

The Japanese Herald couldn’t confirm the knowledge contained within the Washington Publish report associated to “Haniyeh’s private wealth”.

Haniyeh has been in a position to handle the motion’s operations from Qatar as a result of the USA and Israel have implicitly supported his presence there for a very long time, believing it’s higher for Hamas leaders to be in a spot the place they are often monitored somewhat than elsewhere, like Iran.

Israel imposes restrictions on the motion of Palestinians inside Gaza, making it extra sensible for Hamas leaders like Haniyeh to stay overseas.

Whereas the residents of Gaza undergo beneath Hamas rule, the Israeli bombing and warfare – which noticed the loss of life of 9,061 individuals, together with 1,400 civilians – have solely exacerbated the dire state of affairs within the area.

The Washington Publish concludes that the US Treasury Division’s latest sanctions are a part of a broader technique to focus on the monetary networks of Hamas and different teams that the USA considers terrorist organizations.

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