Khaled Abu Toameh is the only investigative journalist working the Gaza side of the street and in his latest report he asks, “How Many Millionaires Live in the “Impoverished” Gaza Strip?”
According to an investigative report published in the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, there are at least 600 millionaires living in the Gaza Strip.
That’s not bad at all. So how did all those fine 600 folks make their millions? By controlling access to supplies for their own people.
The Palestinian millionaires, according to the report, have made their wealth thanks to the hundreds of underground tunnels along the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.
Informed Palestinian sources revealed that every day, in addition to weapons, thousands of tons of fuel, medicine, various types of merchandise, vehicles, electrical appliances, drugs, medicine and cigarettes are smuggled into the Gaza Strip through more than 400 tunnels.
Palestinians estimate that 25% of the Hamas government’s budget comes from taxes imposed on the owners of the underground tunnels.
For example, Hamas has imposed a 25% tax and a $2000 fee on every car that is smuggled into the Gaza Strip. Hamas also charges $15 dollars for each ton of cement, eight cents for a pack of cigarettes and 50 cents for each liter of fuel smuggled through the tunnels.
Now here’s the beautiful part. When Hamas wants to make money, all it has to do is carry out a terrorist attack against Israel. Israel tightens border security and Hamas cashes in on the tunnel goods tax while whining that Israel is starving Gazans to death. And then idiots come on a flotilla bearing goods that Hamas takes and resells at a massive profit.
Mohammed Dahlan, the former Palestinian Authority security commander of the Gaza Strip, further said last week that Hamas was the only party that was laying siege to the Gaza Strip; that it is Hamas, and not Israel or Egypt, that is strangling and punishing the people there.
Shhh no one tell the left.
This is why even a truce with Hamas is completely impossible. Hamas, like the Palestinian Authority, is a terrorist group. It is expert at making money from violence. It is in Hamas’ basic economic interest to keep the war going.