Shalom Life | July 30, 2014

Senior Hamas Officials Are Living the Good Life

Hamas leaders enjoy private jets, restaurants and luxury hotels as Gazans suffer

By: Roi Kais

Published: July 24th, 2014 in News » World

Hamas leaders have been often seen in recent days talking about the suffering of the residents of Gaza. But while most Palestinians are faced with shortages and restrictions on movement in the Gaza Strip, this is far from the case for officials from Hamas, which has been the de facto ruler there since throwing out political rivals Fatah in 2007.

As reported recently in Ynet, Hamas has millions in assets, and it seems that the wealth extends to day-to-day life as well as investments and fat bank accounts. For them, life is about private jets and luxury, not war planes and hunger.

But as the IDF's Operation Protective Edge, triggered by Hamas rocket fire on Israel, continues, more and more voices can be heard inside and outside of Gaza attacking the movement and its leaders' ostentatious lifestyle.

On Sunday, Egyptian officials sharply criticized Hamas political leader Khaled Mashal, stating that "while the Hamas leadership lives in luxury hotels, it is abandoning the innocent Palestinian people, who are being killed in their dozens."

Devastation in Gaza (Photo: EPA)
Devastation in Gaza (Photo: EPA)

These claims are just the attacks - unprecedented in their intensity – directed at Mashal, Hamas leader in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh, and the Hamas leadership outside the country, mostly by groups aligned to Egyptian President Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi.

According to sources in Hamas, the movement's leadership abroad was one of the opponents to the Egyptian initiative for a ceasefire in Gaza, while the leadership in the Strip, which is closer to the Gazan citizens, was more inclined to accept. But now, as part of the criticism against Hamas, old photos have resurfaced of Mashal in Qatar, exercising in the gym, playing tennis, watching TV and dining at a restaurant with full table in front of him.

Mashal's meal
Mashal's meal

There is even a new Twitter campaign entitled "No hello and no welcome, Khaled Mashal", directed against the Hamas political chief, which places images of Mashal in the gym against a background of Palestinian children killed by the IDF

Mashal exercising in Qatar
Mashal exercising in Qatar

One of the most prominent voices in this protest is Egyptian journalist Ahmad Musa, who is a clear al-Sisi supporter. On one of his recent programs for the "Sda al-Balad" channel , Musa presented the same images of Mashal working out in Qatar, and reminded the Hamas leader that, "the jihad is in Gaza." Then, with the image of Mashal on an exercise bike in the background, Musa said: "This is the jihad before the meal to break the (Ramadan) fast. Before the meal he does sports, then he eats the honored meal, then he closely follows the television."

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