The leaders in question, including Ismail Haniyeh, Moussa Abu Marzuk, and Khaled Mashal, have been seen enjoying the high life in various locations, including Qatar and Turkey.Their wealth is said to come from various sources, including support from Qatar, which is alleged to provide Hamas with significant financial aid annually.
According to the report, the three leaders have been observed frequently visiting diplomatic clubs, travelling in private jets, and it was anticipated that they would attend the 2022 soccer World Cup as well.
This financial aid is purported to benefit the leaders directly and indirectly, allowing them to maintain political control over Gaza. The presence of these leaders in Qatar is often justified by the emirate as an effort to transform Hamas into a “responsible governing power.”
As per the Post report, Haniyah is worth more than $4 billion. While these leaders indulge in extravagance, the majority of the population in the Gaza Strip, which has been under Hamas control since 2007, faces severe poverty. The stark contrast between the leaders’ wealth and the people’s suffering has drawn criticism and calls for action.
In response to this situation, a bill co-sponsored by Republican Tennessee Congressman Andy Ogles is being considered, which aims to revoke Qatar’s status as a major non-Nato ally of the United States unless it expels the Hamas leadership, the NY Post report said.
The situation has led to increased scrutiny and pressure on Qatar, especially considering its strategic importance to the United States as a location for a major military base in the Middle East. The unfolding developments suggest a potential shift in the relationship between the United States and Qatar, contingent on the latter’s stance towards the Hamas leadership.
Israel fights Hamas deep in Gaza City
Meanwhile, Israel on Tuesday announced that its ground forces are engaged in combat with Hamas militants within the urban sprawl of Gaza City, marking a significant escalation in the conflict that has been ongoing for a month. Israeli leaders have expressed intentions to maintain control over Gaza’s security post-conflict.
This intensified military operation in Gaza City suggests that the death toll, which is already substantial, is likely to increase. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks about ensuring Gaza’s security for an “indefinite period” hint at a prolonged and complex military campaign with no clear conclusion in sight.
The Israeli community marked the 30th day of mourning—a significant period in Jewish tradition—since the Hamas incursion that resulted in 1,400 fatalities. Approximately 240 individuals abducted by Hamas during the assault are still in Gaza, and over 250,000 Israelis have vacated their homes near the Gaza and Lebanon borders due to ongoing rocket attacks into Israel.
A relentless month-long offensive in Gaza has led to over 10,300 Palestinian deaths, with women and minors comprising two-thirds of the casualties, as reported by the Health Ministry in Hamas-controlled Gaza. It is believed that more than 2,300 individuals have been buried under the debris of collapsed buildings.
With 70% of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents displaced from their homes, many have sought refuge in UN schools that have been converted into shelters. The civilian population in Gaza is surviving on limited aid and their resourcefulness in gathering food and water, with supplies severely depleted after weeks of blockade.
(With inputs from agencies)