January 13, 2024 | Flash Brief

While Gazans Suffer, Hamas Leaders Live in Luxury 

January 13, 2024 | Flash Brief

While Gazans Suffer, Hamas Leaders Live in Luxury 

Latest Developments

The luxurious central Gaza vacation home of Hamas’s deputy military chief was raided by Israeli troops on January 10. The Bureij property of Marwan Issa, a designated terrorist by the United States and EU, features expensive furniture, sprawling manicured lawns, a gazebo, and a large swimming pool.

The stark contrast between the poverty of Gaza residents and the lavish life of a Hamas leader was highlighted by IDF Arabic language spokesperson Avichay Adraee, who posted photos and a video of the property on X. Adraee said in Arabic, “This is further evidence of the complete disconnect between the Hamas leadership, including the leaders of the military wing, [who live] a life of luxury and [enjoy] great wealth, and a large segment of the Gaza population that issues distress calls to obtain donations and international aid. Hamas leaders are in heaven and Gaza residents are in hell.”

Expert Analysis

“Hamas terrorists are not freedom fighters but instead are corrupt cowards who rape and brutalize women and children, torture the defenseless, hide behind their own civilians, and have stolen billions of dollars from the people of Gaza.” — Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network

“We were told for years that sending hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to a Hamas-controlled Gaza would improve people’s lives and prevent terrorism. What we have learned is that Hamas leaders used those dollars to improve their own lives and build a vast infrastructure of terror.” — Richard Goldberg, FDD Senior Advisor

Other Top Hamas Leaders Live in Luxury

Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh, who in 2006 was elected prime minister over all Palestinian territories, has remained outside of Gaza since 2019. Haniyeh — whom Israel estimates is worth $4 billion — splits his time between luxury hotels in Qatar and Turkey. He and his associates have been photographed flying in private jets, enjoying fine dining, and attending international sporting events.  

Haniyeh’s adult son, Maaz Haniyeh, reportedly both controls a real estate empire in Gaza and lives a playboy lifestyle in Turkey. Mousa Abu Marzouk, a senior member of Hamas’s politburo, lives in Egypt and is estimated by Israel to be worth $3 billion. Israel also estimates former Hamas political chief Khaled Mashal — who also lives in Qatar — to be worth $4 billion.

Hamas Invests in Terror While Putting Civilians in Harm’s Way

Over 80 percent of Gaza’s more than 2 million population lived in poverty before the October 7 attack on Israel and resulting war. Gaza also has a 47 percent unemployment rate, according to the United Nations. Instead of supporting the Gazan people, Hamas has used its funds to support its vast terrorist infrastructure, amassing an arsenal that includes small arms, drones, and rockets.  The group also built an extensive network of tunnels covering hundreds of miles underneath residential areas, schools, and hospitals. Asked why Hamas did not use its funds to provide shelters for Gazan civilians, Marzouk said Hamas built the tunnels to protect its fighters. It was the responsibility of the United Nations and Israel to provide for the basic needs and protection for Gazan civilians, he added.

Hamas’s Top Terrorist Leadership,” FDD Insight

10 Things to Know About the History of Gaza,” FDD Insight

10 Things to Know About Hamas and Qatar,” FDD Insight

Hamas officials admit its strategy is to use Palestinian civilians as human shields,” by Natalie Ecanow


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