Tag Archives: Palestine Liberation Organization

4 Hamas Billionaires and 600 Millionaires Turning Civilian Suffering into Hard Cash

By S.M. Lightening

The media in Israel, but more so in neighboring Egypt, is full of condemnations of Hamas leaders, who live in luxury hotels at the expense of the Qatar oil sheiks, or in mansions with the latest fitness equipment, while instructing the downtrodden civilians in the Gaza Strip to become martyrs in service of the Palestinian cause.

Middle East expert Col. (res.) Dr. Moshe Elad spoke to Globes this week about the estimated wealth of those Hamas leaders, who are beginning to be known popularly as the Arab world’s new tycoons.

Elad spent 30 years in the IDF, as Governor of Jenin district, Bethlehem district , Tyre district (in South Lebanon), and as Head of Security coordination with the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, during the implementation of the “Oslo Accord” (’95-’98). Since his retirement, Elad has been teaching today at Western Galilee College, and at Galil – the International Management Institute.

“The vast majority of Hamas founders and leaders were refugees or second generation refugees,” said Elad. “They had no money at all. When they and Hamas were just starting out, the organization (not in its own name) was nurtured by the Israeli military government, which fostered the Islamic associations working in the Gaza Strip as a counterweight to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Their phenomenal wealth started accumulating when they decided to disassociate themselves from Israel and search for alternative financing sources.”

The money, says Elad, came from wills of the deceased, charity funds, and contributions from Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and these days Qatar.

To remind you, the strongly pro-Hamas Al Jazeera Media Network is also funded by the ruling family of Qatar, the House of Thani.

With US based charities starting to funnel funds to Hamas, in the early 1990s, Hamas leaders began to acquire big money. “One of those fundraisers was Dr. Musa Abu Marzook, the number 2 man in Hamas,” says Elad. “He began a fundraising campaign in the US among wealthy Muslims, while at the same time founding several banking enterprises. He himself became a conglomerate of 10 financial enterprises giving loans and making financial investments. He’s an amazing financier.”

The US arrested Marzook in 1995, on charges of supporting terrorism. After he spent two years in jail, he was expelled without a trial. And he got to keep the money.

“When he was expelled from the US in 1997, he was already worth several million dollars,” Elad says. “Somehow he evaded the clutches of the US Internal Revenue Service and was not charged with financing terrorism. People in the know say he probably became connected to the administration and cooperated with it. There is no proof, but it’s hard to think of any other reason why he escaped punishment for such serious offenses. In 2001, in the investigation of the September 11 events, it turned out that he had extensive financial connections with Al Qaeda, including the transfer of funds to the 21 Al Qaeda operatives accused of the attacks.”

Today, Marzook is considered one of Hamas’ wealthiest billionaires. “Arab sources estimate his wealth at $2-3 billion,” Elad says.

Another Hamas leader-turned-tycoon is Khaled Mashaal. “Estimates around the world are that Mashaal is currently worth $2.6 billion, but the numbers mentioned by the Arab commentators are much higher, varying from $2-5 billion invested in Egyptian and Persian Gulf banks, and some in real estate projects in the Persian Gulf countries,” Elad notes.

Another tycoon terrorist is Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. “He is a scion of a family from the Al-Shati refugee camp, and his capital is estimated at $4 million,” Elad says. “He registered most of his assets in the Gaza Strip in the name of his son-in-law, Nabil, and in the name of a dozen of his sons and daughters and a few less well known Hamas leaders. They all have homes in good neighborhoods in the Gaza Strip, where the value of every home is at least $1 million.”

The Arshaq Al-Awsad newspaper, one of the most prestigious in the Arab world, recently reported that at least 600 millionaires were living in the Gaza Strip. Much of that money came from the smuggling operations, through hundreds of tunnels that used to lead into Gaza from Egypt.

“Senior Hamas leaders charged a 25% tax and $2,000 on every disassembled vehicle coming through the tunnels,” said Elad. “From June 2007 until 2010, $800 million in cash was transferred in tunnel deals (according to information from Hamas money traders). Hamas also taxes Gaza merchants on everything traded, from boxes of vegetables to luxury cars, and the leaders scoop the money into their pockets.”

Another source of wealth for Hamas leaders was land acquisition. “They took over land mainly near the sea in good areas, such as the former Gush Katif, then sold it. In effect, they are the cat guarding the cream – the land – so they were able to take over land and loot it for themselves,” Elad explains.
“This is corruption at the highest level, Elad concludes. “What has united the Palestinian leaders all throughout the years is the saying, ‘We have to get rich quick.’ This is how the regime sees it. Their leaders have no shame. Shortly after they got power, they took control of fuel, communications, and any other profitable sectors in the country. There are get-rich-quick schemes and corruption in Western society, too, but there it’s done sophisticatedly with envelopes of money and complex structures of bribery and the like. Among the Palestinians, they tell you straight out, ‘I want to get rich.’”

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NBC Joins Al Jazeera in Anti-Israel Propaganda

Polonium-210 is the deadly substance the Russians used to kill Alexander Litvinenko, the former Russian spy and KGB dissident who blamed the Putin regime for acts of alleged Islamic terrorism in Russia. Now that the poison has reportedly been found in the remains of Yasser Arafat’s exhumed body, NBC News has decided to blame Israel, based on questionable reporting done by Al Jazeera, the Muslim Brotherhood channel.
The NBC Nightly News report on Wednesday night was done by reporter Ayman Mohyeldin, and showed a Palestinian official saying, “We need proof that Israeli occupation is responsible, that Israeli government killed him as a result of an official decision.” But NBC didn’t wait for any proof.

As part of its sensational coverage, NBC even featured an “investigative reporter” from Al Jazeera by the name of Clayton Swisher, who has been pursuing these charges for over a year.

The major flaw in the work of NBC News and Al Jazeera is the failure to point out that the Russians had access to the substance and also had a motive to get rid of Arafat.

Arafat was the former leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a Soviet-created terrorist organization that fought for the “liberation” of Palestine from Israel. He died in 2004. His PLO has been eclipsed in power in recent years by Hamas, a Muslim Brotherhood affiliate.

Dr. Judea Pearl commented years ago that Al Jazeera has been working to undermine the Palestinian Authority, with whom Israel is now conducting peace talks, and “to end all hopes for a negotiated Mideast settlement.” One way they did that was publishing the “Palestine Papers,” supposedly depicting PLO leaders as dupes of Israel. Clayton Swisher was the Al Jazeera reporter on that story, too.

In fact, Al Jazeera has developed a reputation for causing trouble and turmoil throughout the Middle East, and has been banned from Egypt for its role in sparking bloody riots there.

Hamas has already accused the Israeli government of assassinating Arafat and has called on the Palestinian Authority, run by members of the PLO in the West Bank, to halt peace negotiations with Israel.

So what we have developing here, in terms of the allegations against Israel, is another aspect of the power struggle in the Middle East, with Hamas using the charges to obtain a political advantage as they lay the groundwork for another war against Israel.

But NBC Nightly News treated this propaganda and disinformation campaign against Israel as legitimate news.

Mohyeldin’s failure to highlight the role of Polonium-210 in the death of Litvinenko casts doubt on the entire report. The former KGB dissident fled to London and wrote a sensational book, Blowing Up Russia, on the roots of alleged Islamic terrorism in Russia, before being murdered in 2006.

Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa, the highest-ranking official ever to have defected from the former Soviet bloc, points out in his book Disinformation that Polonium-210 was known to be used by the former Soviet Union as a neutron trigger, or initiator, for nuclear weapons. Pacepa says “there is solid ground for postulating that the KGB/FSB may have gotten tired of Arafat and decided to get rid of him,” using polonium. He notes that Litvinenko “suddenly fell ill,” just like Arafat. (British authorities linked Russia and a former KGB agent to Litvinenko’s murder.)

Pacepa says the Russians wanted Arafat out of the picture because they believed he had outlived his usefulness, as a result of his being exposed and becoming known as a long-time KGB agent. Litvinenko had also exposed Ayman al-Zawahiri, the current leader of al Qaeda, as a KGB-trained operative.

Arafat, Pacepa says, was too “blood-stained” as a result of his long involvement with terrorism; and the Russians wanted a “new, more Western-looking leader” who turned out to be Mahmoud Abbas, current president of the Palestinian Authority. But he said few noticed that Abbas was a graduate of Patrice Lumumba University, a KGB-controlled school “whose secret task was to create a new generation of foreigners dedicated to promoting the Kremlin’s interests…”

The ultimate aim, of course, is to destroy Israel in the name of Palestinian “liberation.”

NBC News stacked the deck against Israel. “Just before his death in 2004, Arafat fell mysteriously ill, besieged in his West Bank headquarters by the Israeli military. He was flown to France where he died,” said NBC’s Mohyeldin. “No autopsy was ever performed. Last year an investigation by the Doha-based news channel Al Jazeera led Yasser Arafat’s widow to demand answers. She now believes her husband was murdered.” She was shown on the set of Al Jazeera talking about Arafat being a “great” leader of the Palestinian cause. It was pure propaganda.

Mohyeldin said, “Israel considered Yasser Arafat an obstacle to peace and a terrorist but has always denied involvement in his death.” In the context of the report, however, Israel was already guilty as charged; and Israeli leaders were denying the obvious.

It is not just Israel’s opinion, of course, that Arafat was a terrorist. Still, Israel, under U.S. and international pressure to give the Palestinians a separate state, has been negotiating with the PLO, considering it more moderate than Hamas.

The Israel-killed-Arafat story can only cause more turmoil and bloodshed, and perhaps even lead to another Middle East war.

NBC Joins Al Jazeera in Anti-Israel Propaganda.

Was Yasser Arafat killed by polonium poisoning? – The Washington Post

JERUSALEM — On the evening of Oct. 12, 2004, Yasser Arafat, the flamboyant, autocratic and inscrutable chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, sat down for dinner at his besieged compound in Ramallah in the West Bank. And so began one of the great medical mysteries in the modern Middle East.

A month later, Arafat was dead in a French hospital.

By natural causes? Or was it a murder most foul? Theories have swirled in the past nine years that Arafat was assassinated, perhaps poisoned — by rivals, by his inner circle, by Israeli agents.

On Wednesday, a final 108-page report by a team of Swiss experts revealed that tests on Arafat’s exhumed remains and possessions — a shaft of his hair, a urine stain on his underwear, a woolen cap — “moderately support the proposition that the death was the consequence of poisoning with polonium-­210,” a highly radioactive substance 250,000 times as toxic as cyanide.

“This has confirmed all our doubts,” Arafat’s widow, Suha, told the Reuters news agency. “It is scientifically proved that he didn’t die a natural death, and we have scientific proof that this man was killed.”

Suha Arafat, speaking in Paris, called her husband’s death “a real crime, a political assassination.”

She did not name any suspects, but if her husband truly was killed, there would be many. He had myriad enemies — not least the Israeli government.

Arafat spent his life battling the Israelis, first as a guerilla fighter and later as a statesman. For decades, he served as leader of the Fatah movement and the face of the PLO, always in his olive green uniform, patchy grey beard and checkered scarf.

His critics called him a terrorist and a crook, and they accused him of amassing a personal fortune and ultimately failing the Palestinian cause. His supporters revere him as a kind of founding father, and his portrait hangs on the wall of every Palestinian Authority functionary in the West Bank.

Before his death in 2004 — more than a decade after he signed the Oslo Accords, which offered a still-unfulfilled promise of peace — Arafat was confined to his Ramallah compound by the Israeli military. The second intifada, or uprising, was raging in Israel and the occupied territories as a wave of Palestinian suicide bombers was met with a fierce Israeli crackdown.

Israeli officials have repeatedly denied that their government had anything to do with Arafat’s death.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told the Jerusalem Post on Wednesday that the Swiss findings were “more soap opera than science,” calling them part of the ongoing battle between Arafat’s widow and the Palestinian Authority.

Suha Arafat, a secretary and interpreter who in 1990 married the longtime bachelor who was more than twice her age, has had a strained relationship with the Palestinian leadership. She has been accused of living in luxury, siphoning off Arafat’s millions. She resides in Paris, not in the Palestinian territories, and has been quoted as saying that she tried to divorce Arafat “a hundred times.”

Was Yasser Arafat killed by polonium poisoning? – The Washington Post.