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Gaza is scarred by poverty. But Hamas leaders live a life of luxury in Qatar

Palestinians in Gaza are in a grim state of affairs amid Israel’s struggle with Hamas. The enclave’s solely energy station ran out of gasoline final week, and there may be additionally a scarcity of water, meals and different fundamental requirements. Hospitals are overwhelmed as injured and our bodies hold rising up amid Israel’s relentless airstrikes on Gaza.

Nonetheless, there could be some aid in sight after Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated Wednesday (18 October) that his nation will carry part of its blockade of Gaza on the request of United States president Joe Biden throughout his go to to the West Asian nation. Based on the US, Egypt has agreed to open a border crossing into Gaza to let in some humanitarian assist.

The plight of Gaza’s impoverished civilians amid Israel’s struggle with Hamas has additionally put the highlight on the contrasting lives led by the Palestinian motion’s leaders away from the densely populated enclave.

Let’s take a more in-depth look.

Who’s Ismail Haniyeh?

Ismail Haniyeh is broadly considered Hamas’s total chief. He has usually come below hearth for dwelling in consolation and luxurious whereas thousands and thousands of Gazans endure each day because of the blockade of the Strip by Israel since 2007.

However earlier than we delve into Haniyeh’s life-style, let’s perceive who he’s.

A key member of the Hamas motion within the late Nineteen Eighties, Haniyeh was appointed Palestinian prime minister in 2006 by President Mahmoud Abbas after Hamas swept nationwide elections in Gaza.

Ismail Haniyeh drives a automobile because the then Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani sits subsequent to him after a go to on the Islamic College in Gaza Metropolis in October 2012. Reuters File Picture

Nonetheless, Haniyeh was faraway from his place after Hamas ousted Abbas’ Fatah social gathering from the Gaza Strip in a short civil battle. Dismissing his sacking as “unconstitutional”, Haniyeh declared his authorities “would not abandon its national responsibilities towards the Palestinian people”, and continued to stay in energy in Gaza, as per BBC.

In 2017, he turned head of Hamas’ political bureau. The next yr, Haniyeh was designated a terrorist by the US Division of State.

Haniyeh left Gaza in 2019 for a “temporary foreign tour” as per Hamas, reported The Arab Weekly. Since then, he has reportedly been residing in Qatar.

Hamas leaders in Qatar

Haniyeh grabbed headlines quickly after Hamas’ shock assault on Israel on 7 October. Based on The Instances of Israel, a video surfaced of Haniyeh and different Hamas leaders in an workplace within the Qatari capital Doha watching the information concerning the assault on a large-screen tv after which “prostrating in gratitude”.

As CBC Information famous, “This episode served as a reminder that while innocent civilians in Gaza die in their hundreds from aerial bombing and tens of thousands more are rendered homeless, Hamas’ leaders exist above the fray in air-conditioned comfort 2,000 kilometres away as guests of (Qatar’s) Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.”

Qatar has been enjoying a bunch to a number of Hamas leaders, who even have a political workplace in Doha.

Haniyeh was capable of develop his wealth owing to his management of Gaza’s financial system whereas serving within the Hamas authorities, together with by means of taxes imposed on items imported into the Strip from Egypt, reported The Instances of Israel.

Based on a 2014 report on the Israeli information website Ynet, senior Hamas leaders, together with Haniyeh, levied a 20 per cent tax on all commerce passing by means of the tunnels in-built Gaza.

The Hamas authorities’s taxes on imports, exports, companies and tobacco has been opposed by Palestinian civilians who say it provides to their plight. Nonetheless, Hamas safety forces have cracked down on these protests, reported The Arab Weekly. 

In 2010, Haniyeh bought a plot of land for $4 million on the Gazan beachfront close to the Shati refugee camp, which he registered below his son-in-law’s title, The Instances of Israel reported citing Egyptian journal Rose al-Yusuf.

He owns many residences, villas and buildings within the Gaza Strip, registered below his a few of his 13 youngsters’s names. In 2021, a video circulated on-line confirmed Haniyeh enjoying soccer on a trimmed discipline below the glass skyscrapers of Qatar, as per The Arab Weekly report. One other footage confirmed him donning a tailor-made go well with, accompanied by bodyguards, and being welcomed by Qatari dignitaries at a red-carpet occasion, the report added.

Based on the United Nations, 81 % of the Gazan population resides in poverty. About 70 per cent of youth in Gaza are unemployed, reported Al Jazeera. The Strip additionally continuously suffers from energy cuts.

Gaza is scarred by poverty But Hamas leaders live a life of luxury in Qatar
Greater than half of the inhabitants in Gaza lives in poverty. Reuters File Picture

It’s not simply prime Hamas leaders’ swanky life-style exterior Gaza that has laid naked the hole between them and thousands and thousands of Palestinians within the Strip.

Citing the Saudi information web site Elaph’s 2022 article, The Instances of Israel reported that Haniyeh’s son Maaz, often known as “The Father of Real Estate” in Gaza, secured a Turkish passport, which enabled him to simply go away Gaza and journey overseas, in addition to put money into properties in Turkey.

Because of the blockades imposed by Israel and Egypt, it is vitally troublesome for Palestinians to depart Gaza. Israel denies entry to and from Gaza by sea and air in addition to Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings.

The Egypt-controlled Rafah crossing, the one choice for many Gazans to exit the Strip, is offered for individuals who can shell out excessive charges or have connections to Egyptian officers, The Arab Weekly reported.

Even then, there’s a prolonged allow course of for odd Palestinians.

Why is Qatar internet hosting Hamas leaders?

Resorts and villas in Qatar are housing Hamas leaders for years. Even after the latest terror assault by Hamas’ militants on Israel, Doha defended the presence of the group’s political leaders on its soil.

In a written assertion to CBC Information, Qatar’s embassy in Ottawa stated: “Regarding the Hamas office in Doha, it has been used from the beginning as a channel of communication and a means to bring peace to the region and that is in coordination with our western allies, particularly the United States”.

Qatar has additionally despatched tons of of thousands and thousands of {dollars} in assist to Gaza which has facilitated the Hamas-run authorities to pay its civil servants.

An knowledgeable has defined Qatar’s international coverage. Chatting with CBC Information, Thomas Juneau, an knowledgeable in Center Japanese politics on the College of Ottawa, stated that the oil-rich Gulf nation’s identification and model is predicated on the “idea that it talks to everyone.”

“It talks to the Taliban, it talks to Hamas, it talks to Libyan rebels, and so forth.

“And its logic is that as a small weak state, by being indispensable, by having all of those networks, all of those contacts, the US wants it and it really works for it. Frequently, the US turns into annoyed by that, and if I needed to guess, I might say that the US is annoyed by the truth that a few of Hamas’s political management is in Qatar proper now.

“That’s true. But when the US needs to talk to Hamas, when the US needs to talk to the Taliban, then Qatar becomes extremely useful,” Juneau advised CBC Information. 

With inputs from businesses



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