The humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip has been dire for decades, earning it the label of "the world's largest open-air prison." Even prior to the recent conflict triggered by Hamas's attack on Israel in October, half of Gaza's Palestinians relied on UN-provided food.
The ongoing Israeli bombardment, aimed at dismantling the Hamas terrorist group, has exacerbated these already challenging conditions. While a significant portion of Gaza's population lives in poverty, a select few, including top Hamas leaders, enjoy opulent lifestyles in mansions with marble floors and luxury accommodations.
According to the Israeli embassy in the US, Musa Abu Marzouk, Khaled Mashal, and Ismail Haniyeh, the top three Hamas leaders, each possess a net worth exceeding three billion dollars. The embassy asserts that Hamas's annual turnover is around $1 billion, positioning it as one of the wealthiest terrorist groups globally, second only to ISIS.
Hamas, primarily recognized for its military wing, seized control of Gaza in 2007, with Ismail Haniyeh assuming the role of prime minister. Since then, the group has maintained control without holding elections. Over the years, Hamas leaders have reportedly profited from the suffering of the Gazan population.
The Israeli embassy alleges that instead of investing in essential infrastructure like wells and rebuilding, Hamas diverts funds to build tunnels and arm its fighters. This, coupled with the lack of civilian bomb shelters and attacks across the border, raises accusations of Hamas using Palestinians as human shields and allowing the population to suffer.
German newspaper Bild highlights four Hamas officials, Abu Marzouk, Mashal, Haniyeh, and Younis Kafisheh, who have amassed significant wealth. Documents from Welt am Sonntag reveal a financial empire outside Gaza worth nearly $750 million.
The dire consequences of these actions are evident, with approximately one-quarter of diseases in Gaza attributed to water pollution, and 12 percent of young children's deaths linked to infections from contaminated water.
Amidst these challenges, accusations persist that Hamas prioritizes personal wealth over the well-being of the Gazan people.