December 19, 2023

Over $1M in Cash Found in Home of Hamas Leader

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced on Monday the discovery of suitcases containing over $1 million in cash at the residence of a senior Hamas member in the Jabalia area.

The cash, amounting to more than NIS 5 million, was held in Israeli currency, specifically about 5 million Israeli shekels.

Additionally, soldiers from the 551st Brigade uncovered numerous weapons during the search of the Hamas member's home.

As reported by The Jerusalem Post, last month, it was noted that several senior Hamas leaders, living in affluent exile in countries like Qatar, are billionaires.

Some of these leaders allegedly divert funds from Gaza, which should be allocated to development projects. Certain individuals benefit from taxes imposed by Hamas on imports to Gaza, often smuggled through underground tunnels.

“These funds—found inside a senior Hamas terrorist’s residence— were designated for terrorist activity,” the IDF wrote on X Monday.

“What could this money have been used for? Provisions of clean water, electricity, and fuel for the residents of Gaza,” the IDF added, appearing to suggest the money was looted from Gaza’s aid fund.

In 2006, Palestinians voted for Hamas in the parliamentary elections, viewing it as an alternative to the perceived corruption of the incumbent Fatah party.

Fatah continues to govern the Palestinian Authority from Ramallah in the West Bank, as Hamas seized executive power in a coup a year later. The Israeli shekel remains the primary currency in Gaza, although U.S. dollars and other currencies are also in use.

This discovery sheds light on the financial activities of some Hamas members within Gaza and adds to concerns about the alleged diversion of funds from development projects. The finding of weapons further underscores the complexity of security challenges in the region.

The IDF's disclosure provides insight into ongoing efforts to monitor and address potential threats posed by individuals associated with Hamas.

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