Hamas internally calls it the “secret portfolio”. The terrorist organisation maintains a huge network of companies, as documents exclusively seen by the German newspaper WELT show. The names of German banks also appear. Hamas bosses live far from Gaza in luxury hotels.
Even before the current war, half of the Palestinians in Gaza were dependent on food aid from the United Nations. Now UNRWA, the Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees, is warning that the territory, home to more than two million people, is on the verge of collapse. Aid organisations around the world are collecting donations for the suffering population.
Hamas, which has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007, has bulging bank accounts. Hundreds of millions of American dollars, however, are not spent by the heads of the terrorist organisation on their population, but on attacks against Israel – and their luxurious lifestyle abroad.
The so-called Shura Council is the superordinate political body of Hamas, which makes the strategic decisions of the terrorist organisation. Subordinate to the council are committees that manage Hamas’s various activities, including the “Office of Investment.” This watches over foreign commercial assets, the extent of which only a few senior officials know. Hamas bosses call it the “secret portfolio.”
Hamas top brass have built up a financial empire outside the Gaza Strip whose total value is about £600 million.
According to documents on Hamas assets obtained by WELT AM SONNTAG and information from a former high-ranking Israeli intelligence official investigating the financial flows of terrorist organisations, Hamas top brass have built up a financial empire outside the Gaza Strip whose total value is about £600 million.
According to the report, the secret terror portfolio includes between 30 and 40 companies operating mainly in the construction and real estate sectors. These Hamas-controlled companies are located in Turkey, Qatar, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates and Sudan. “This is the golden safety net for the Hamas leadership and their families,” says the financial investigator. “Not a dime of it has gone to Gaza.”
While their own people in the sealed-off territory suffer the consequences of Hamas’ attack on Israel, with water, gasoline and bread rationed, Hamas bosses such as Ismail Haniyeh, Khaled Mashaal, Saleh al-Arouri and others reside in luxury hotels abroad and have bank accounts around the world.
According to further secret documents, which WELT AM SONNTAG was able to view, the Hamas leadership has access to dozens of accounts at Turkish banks such as Türkiye Finans, Albaraka, Kuveyt Türk, Vakif Katilim and the state-owned bank Ziraat Katilim, which are kept in euros and US dollars.
Correspondent banks, such as Deutsche Zentral-Genossenschaftsbank in Düsseldorf, Unicredit Bank in Munich, and the Frankfurt branches of Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, and Citibank Europe, are listed as making transfers to Europe for the Turkish branches.
Hamas bosses initially began building their secret corporate portfolio in Saudi Arabia. But when the Gulf monarchy began cracking down on Hamas’ business, they moved their financial office to Turkey.
Hamas began investing donor funds in foreign companies, rather than in Gaza’s civilian infrastructure, some two decades ago. “They deliberately built a financial security umbrella for the day when Saudi Arabia, Qatar or Turkey stopped their financial support to Hamas,” says the money laundering expert.
According to the report, Hamas bosses initially began building their secret corporate portfolio in Saudi Arabia. But when the Gulf monarchy began cracking down on Hamas’ business, they moved their financial office to Turkey.
The boss of Hamas’ financial apparatus is Zaher Ali Moussa Jabarin. Jabarin was one of more than a thousand convicted Palestinian terrorists Israel exchanged in 2011 for Gilad Shalit, a soldier kidnapped by Hamas. Along with several other released terrorists, he later resettled in Turkey.
Jabarin resides there but maintains frequent visits to Lebanon, Qatar and Iran. He holds a Qatari passport and is Hamas’ liaison to Iran. Jabarin helps Hamas top brass set up businesses, obtain visas, and purchase commercial real estate in Turkey.
Hamas fighters who have risen through the ranks have traded in their uniforms for tailored suits. Some, like Hamas chief Haniyeh, who once vowed to live only on olive oil and za’atar spice, have retreated to luxury hotels in Turkey and Qatar, leaving the lower ranks and ordinary Palestinians to deal with the consequences of their terror strategy.
Jabarin manages the finances for this. He reports to Saleh al-Arouri, the deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau in Lebanon. Al-Arouri founded the armed arm of the terrorist organisation that invaded southern Israel on Oct. 7 and murdered 1,400 people. In a telephone interview this week with Al-Manar, Hezbollah’s television station, Al-Arouri said Hamas was in constant contact with Hezbollah’s leadership.
The Shiite terrorist organisation in Lebanon has close ties to Iran. The Hamas leader boasted that the war against Israel “hasn’t even really begun” – implying more Hezbollah attacks from Lebanon in parallel with Hamas rockets from Gaza. And possible Iranian intervention.
Hamas fighters who have risen through the ranks have traded in their uniforms for tailored suits. Some, like Haniyeh, have retreated to luxury hotels in Turkey and Qatar.
WELT was the first newspaper to reveal parts of Hamas’ secret corporate empire two years ago. As a result, the U.S. Treasury sanctioned the actors and companies revealed at the time, such as the Turkish real estate investment firm Trend Gayrimenkul Yatırım Ortaklığı A.Ş (Trend GYO).
According to U.S. officials, Trend GYO served to conceal and launder Hamas funds. Despite the sanctions imposed by the world’s most important financial authority, it appears that the Hamas company can continue to do business in Turkey without hindrance.
For example, the Hamas-run company reports a net profit of 57.8 million Turkish liras (about two million euros) for 2022. This is according to a statement it submitted to the Istanbul Stock Exchange on February 13, 2023. The Hamas company’s shares are traded on the Turkish stock exchange.
The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has not taken any action against the company or its representatives since the U.S. sanction. Trend GYO continues to generate revenue from construction and real estate investments in Istanbul.
That Turkey is the adopted home for senior Hamas officials is an open secret. Erdogan also makes no secret of his closeness to the terrorist organisation, which grew out of the Muslim Brotherhood.
After Hamas raided Israel and slaughtered scores of civilians, including young children and babies, the Turkish president declared in a speech in Ankara: “Hamas is not a terrorist organisation, but a liberation and mujahideen group that fights to protect its country and its citizens.”
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